August 5, 2009 2 Comments
I watched The Curious Case of Benjamin Button last night and found this movie fascinating! It is loosely based on the concept of F. Scott Fitgerald’s story. Maybe the expectations of what makes life worth living were different in 1921 when F. Scott penned his tale. 🙂 The 2008 movie, with Brad Pitt, as a pensive observer of life, and all around good boy, brushes on many layers and concepts about life and death, sex and religion, time and age.
The movie actually does too much, tells too many stories, introduces too many deep and potent themes. Yet it is a simple story about one man, and Brad Pitt presents Benjamin to the audience with eloquence and charm.
When a movie or book enthralls me, on many levels, I like to check out the negative reviews, to see what didn’t appeal to others. Sometimes I just feel sad for the critics, that they missed the magic of story. Other times I like the clarity of their perspective because it makes me think more objectively. But on every level, as the audience, we come to story from our personal insight, education, experience and objective.
So, for my review, I’ll say that the director or screenwriter could have cut the WWI and backwards clock story. There was no reason to mirror “Titanic” with the old woman recounting her life, at death. The subplot of Benjamin’s daughter learning about her dad, while Hurricane Katrina was devastating New Orleans, was a bit melodramatic. The core story, of Benjamin living his life in reverse and the sustained romance with Daisy through the decades, is powerful enough.
Queenie, her religion and miracles, was good color and backstory. The old-folks setting was brilliant, and would have been enough without the WWI, clock, dad, hurricane and Titanic additions. But that’s my perspective, I love the vibrancy and richness of life, often felt around old-folks.
The lesson presented in F. Scott’s 1921 story was – achievements and status, in education, sports and war, are what matters to men. If we cut out all the distractions in the 2008 Benjamin Button movie, the lesson is – time and age are the illusion, because life is worth living, and love endures.
How cool is that?