08 January, 2009

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" Film Review

Tip before watching this film: Go pee.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a film very loosely on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1921. David Fincher directed the film, and Eric Roth wrote the screenplay. The film stars Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Taraji P. Henson, Julia Ormond, Tilda Swinton, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali, Jared Harris, and Jason Flemyng.

Watching this movie is a daunting task, simply because of the length of it, almost a whopping three hours. However, once it starts, you can’t take your eyes off the screen, every flinch in Benjamin Button’s face is as curiously intriguing as the next. The whole movie is visually amazing, the gradual progress of time from the glamorous 20’s era to the hectic years after the turn of the millennium are perfectly subconscious. The flow of the whole movie is smooth and befitting in the tale that it spins. Every character has a memorable moment, and they affect the audience almost as much as they affect Benjamin Button himself. I was tremendously flabbergasted by how they created Benjamin Button on screen during his younger (older) years. I just couldn’t fathom how this tiny little creature with Brad Pitt’s unmistakable face is moving around realistically in sync with the environment. My friends and I figured that there was some CGI involved, but it was so flawless that you could barely recognize what was Pitt’s real flesh, and what was CGI.

The performances definitely deliver to the mass expectations, but I was more impressed with Cate Blanchett’s acting, especially during her character’s younger years. She had an endless grace, and a mesmerizing presence. Not to mention, she was absolutely gorgeous. Brad Pitt is the crème de la crème of the top male leads, and we finally get hard proof that he is not just another pretty face. However, I was more impressed with his presence when his character was younger (older), I preferred the childlike wonder in his eyes and manner, rather than the stoicism of his later presence reminiscent of Brad Pitt’s character in Meet Joe Black. I was also pleasantly surprised that there were some clever comedic moments, especially when the scene included Taraji P. Henson who played Benjamin Button’s foster mother Queenie.

Even though the movie brings two of the most respected stars in the industry, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is so much more than just seeing Brad Pitt as an old guy. The story is even more compelling than the picturesque scene it entails. The adventurous journey of Benjamin Button through love, life, and loneliness is like a warm balm to the heart, something that we all need especially in these times of coldness. The theme of the film isn’t arguably new, most of the messages are already something we’ve heard somewhere before, and there aren’t really any immensely melodramatic plot twists. Instead of a thrilling roller coaster ride with high heights and g-force pushing lows, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is akin to a long, slow, satisfying massage. Like a childhood lullaby that gives you dreams even while you’re awake. Like a lovely fairy tale that you keep wanting to hear again and again.

Benjamin Button: "For what it’s worth, it’s never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit... start whenever you want... you can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that stop you. I hope you feel things that you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life that you’re proud of and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again."


Ken said...

Again, another superb review coming from the Queen of the Movies. JK! :) Love it. It's really heartwarming. :)) I'd give it a 4/5 rating. BEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR (so far... haha)

coffee said...

Brad Pitt is such a good actor, as this movie demonstrates yet again, though it was a little weird to see his old face pasted onto the body of a kid

Jizzka said...

coffee - lol, I agree, I was thrown for a loop the first time I saw his whole body.