F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” was about as close as the author ever came to writing anything science fiction-like. To be fair, however, there was no attempt at a scientific explanation, as fictitious as it all may have been.
Science fiction or not, the first time I saw the trailer for this film I was compelled by the idea – that someone would have been born very old and as the years passed he, at least in physical appearance and bodily abilities, became younger and younger. Conceptually, I find that idea tantalizing, primarily to see how it is that one executes on that initial concept.
Personally, I found myself very satisfied by David Fincher’s execution. Yes, the movie was a bit long, but it was also very engaging to watch this character learn of old age before youth and value life in an entirely different way. There are lots of cliche questions or phrases that people toss about, including ‘youth is wasted on the young’ and others, and this movie did a nice job tackling such notions without telling you that it was doing so. It’s very subtlety made it as enjoyable as it was.
At the same time, the love story between Benjamin and Daisy (Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett) was very touching and, understandably, distressing. Two elements of symbolism (humming bird and clock) were perhaps a little strained to have the effect they were meant to (though I could see why they were there) but other than that it was a very good movie.
7.5 Chocolate Salty Balls.
Have you seen it? What did you think?
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