Wednesday, July 1, 2009

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

This movie is out for a while now, but I just managed to see it. The only thing I regret after seeing it is that I didn’t watch it earlier.

In a hospital a daughter at the request of her mother, who is on her deathbed, reads her a diary written by a certain Benjamin Button. As the story reveals, Benjamin Button was born in 1918 in New Orleans, but with the appearance and the maladies of the 80 years old man and as he grows he becomes younger. The diary relates the story of his lifetime.

At first the story looked a bit like “The English Patient” for me. I mean for a person on the deathbed a diary is read, relating a love story from that person’s life. I don’t know if the fact that I’ve seen “The English Patient” some time ago is relevant, but I think I liked “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” more. I liked that the movie is not centered only on the love story between Benjamin Button and Daisy Fuller, but it’s a story about life. And like in life the movie moves through a wide series of feelings, almost every scene and event in the life of Benjamin Button revealing such an emotion.

I loved the metaphor in the curious growing of the main character, although he ages inside, physically he gets younger, but I heard many old people saying that although they are old physically, in their souls they are young or didn’t aged a bit. Also the scene about the destiny, all that series of circumstances that lead to a certain event is wonderful. I pondered on this aspect before seeing this movie, but “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” made me wonder some more. And it’s so true that in the cases of unfortunate events we stay and wonder what if a small action took by somebody in that series of events would have been different would the end be different as well?

I am not fond of Brad Pitt, but I don’t have anything with him either. It’s just until now I wasn’t impressed with any of his interpretations. And although I liked some movies he acted in it seems that this is the first case when he remains in my mind together with the movie he plays in. Cate Blanchett is wonderful in her role as well and the two main actors contribute fully to the success of the movie. And after directing excellent movies like “Se7en”, “The Game” or “Fight Club”, David Fincher makes his mark once again and does a great job with “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” too.

With a wonderful story (being the movie adaptation of the eponymous F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story), with a flowing course and with a good team, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” is an excellent movie. And with all the respect for “Slumdog Millionaire” (which is not a bad movie) I have to wonder why didn’t this movie won the Academy Award, because I found “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” to be much better.


Cindy said...

It's odd because the plot sounds good but for some reason this movie really isn't appealing to me. I've seen it in the store, the library and at the movie rental place and it just doesn't jump at me. :(

Mihai A. said...

It happened to me with some movies too, but I recommend this movie. It is worth seeing :)

Barbara Martin said...

I had wanted to see this movie when it came out, but now after reading your review, I want to more so.

The aspect of a "series of circumstances that lead to a certain event" are very true. I have had instances of circumstance occur in my own life as if they were orchestrated by an unseen hand.

Mihai A. said...

Barbara, on those events occur we don't look over the series of circumstances leading to that event. But after a while looking back they usually seem orchestrated by an unseen hand.