Herman Blume: Never in my wildest imagination did I ever dream I would have sons like these.
Max is an incredibly perceptive kid, and his friendship with Blume gives him a unique perspective on a singular man; one which would be the base of Steve Zissou in The LIfe Aquatic. Zissou’s obsession with the Jaguar Shark is inspired by Herman Blume’s dissatisfaction with his own life; a life that, in all likelyhood, must have seemed incredibly promising and brilliant: at some point Mrs. Blume was young and beautiful, his sons were adorable toddlers, and his business was flourishing. Somewhere along the line something changed, and his life devoured that dream, leaving Blume feeling as powerless as Zissou in the face of his 50 foot shark.
Klaus Daimler: Do you still want to blow him up?
Steve Zissou: No, we’re out of dynamite anyway.
Eleanor Zissou: It is beautiful Steve.
Steve Zissou: Yea, it’s pretty good isn’t it… I wonder if it remembers me…
Zissou’s final confrontation with the Jaguar shark is rendered even more potent, then, if we think of it as a kind of encouragement written to Herman from Max, that even after their shared fantasy of being father and son was over, there is yet a wonderful, terrible beauty in life, and despite the course it takes or the dreams it devours, it still is glorious and awe-inspiring when you look on it with the right kind of eyes.