The Curious Case of Benjamin Button review [by Matt Gosciminski]

curious-case-benjamin-button2

So the other week I was finally able to get out and see David Fincher’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” which I feel like I’ve known about forever. So it was a treat to see it after waiting for so long. In case you aren’t aware of what this movie happens to be about, it follows the title character, played by Brad Pitt, as he is born a wrinkled old dying baby and “ages” into a fit young man, and eventually dies as if he had just come out of the womb.

Overall, this movie was great, though it didn’t live completely up to my expectations.

What struck me as odd about this movie was that it is extremely similar to “Forest Gump,” which I suppose can be attributed to the fact that the movies have the same screenwriter, Eric Roth. Just off the top of my head, both movies deal with:

a. A sensational tale about a quirky character pushed along by voiced-over memories

b. A frustrating female interest (Cate Blanchette) that pops in and out of the story

c. A lot of characters with a Southern drawl.

d. A long-ass runtime

Now, I wouldn’t consider any of these things to be negative. I just feels like they are pouring fresh material into a familiar mold, is all.

Despite these quips about similarities, I felt that this movie, despite being 2:45 hours long, moved along at a good pace. As with Forest Gump, the characters are so interesting that you don’t mind watching them as your ass loses feeling and your legs start to tingle and your bladder starts to swell. The movie transitions very well between segments of the story and although the movie is covering a lifetime’s worth of material, it doesn’t feel rushed at all.

Another thing that I’ve thought they should do in movies and they finally made good use of in this movie is to use big budget CGI effects on a very small scale. This movie isn’t as visually assaulting as a movie like “Transformers,” but the same sort of Hollywood CGI is used to make the aging of Pitt ridiculously realistic. You almost don’t even take note of it because of how natural it seems. I mean, if you see two massive transforming robots fighting each other with exploding swords you think “Wow, they did a good job of bringing that to life” but seeing Ben Button aging backwards you don’t even think something like that because it doesn’t seem enhanced at all — it just seems real.

The acting in “Benjamin Button” is also very well done. Not once did I feel like I was watching an actor play a part, I felt like I was simply watching a story unfold, which is how movies are suppose to be. However, isn’t always how they end up.

I find myself wanting to refer to Brad Pitt as Benjamin in this review because he did such a good job of giving the character life.

But it didn’t feel like anything really happened in this movie. We saw the progression of events of this man’s extraordinary life, but there was no climax. It just sort of slowed down and came to a halt. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing, but I find myself looking for a great *BANG* at the end of my movies and there was no memorable *BANG* at the end of “Benjamin Button.”

The message the movie conveys throughout is one of impermanence. We all know that nothing stays the same forever, but this is brought into a brighter light by the story of someone who ages backwards. As the movie tells us a few times through different characters, “You never know what’s comin’ for you.”

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Comments

  1. i was pleasantly surprised to find out that Scott Fitzgerald wrote the short story upon which Benjamin Button (the movie) was based

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