If anyone watched E.T. or Jaws in their childhood, they indeed heard of Steven Spielberg. In the five decades of his filmmaking career, he has made numerous films that will be remembered for generations. But the audience knows little about his early life and his gradual rise to be the legendary director everyone knows now.
To shed some light on it, Spielberg himself created and directed his latest film based on his own life. This is The Fabelmans, the life story of a fictional filmmaker mirroring Spielberg's early life.
The plot covers the life of Sammy Fabelman, from his childhood upbringing to his filmmaking career in adulthood. Growing up in a suburban household in Arizona, Sammy had an upbringing shaped by his contrasting Fabelman parents: pianist mother, Mitzi and computer engineer father, Burt. When art and science go hand in hand in a household, the children are likely to be in touch with both imagination and logic.
Sammy is never far from it; he is inspired to be skilled in both by his parents. But he has to choose one path, and he chooses art. Since his childhood, Sammy has been intrigued by the colours of life and wants to capture them. Mitzi and Burt discover the artistic talent in adolescent Sammy, who creates a mini film about his toy train.
Since then, he has always been motivated to make films. The parents always support him despite their conflicts about inspiring their son. Soon after becoming an adult, Sammy realizes reality is not what he imagined in his childhood.
Mitzi and Burt get divorced, and Sammy struggles with his filmmaking career. He now has options from which to choose.
Will he break his mother's heart by quitting filmmaking? Or will he strive to be the successful director he always wanted? This 151-minute film has the answers, and Spielberg does his usual magic to make them captivating.
Sammy Fabelman isn't a real-life character, but he is the medium through which Spielberg portrays his own life. Spielberg returns to writing scripts after 21 long years and does his job masterfully.
After all, this is a semi-autobiographical depiction of his life story. Spielberg's storytelling is beautiful, and he isn't trying to make this drama film boring.
2022 has been a year of directors' semi-biopic films, and The Fabelmans is the latest addition to them.