You’ll Regret Being Curious

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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is the story of a man who’s born old and wrinkled and physically ages in reverse. He is born an old man and grows up to be an infant. The film is directed by David Fincher and is based on the 1922 short story by F.Scott Fitzgerald. On paper it sounds very fancy. With a director like David Fincher attached to it, the film really has you curious. That is, of course, until you actually watch the film.
Yes, well, this is what cinema has become. People are astounded by a man aging backwards – in a film! Ok, let’s start off by examining the idea of a man aging backwards. By itself, it isn’t a particularly first-rate idea – people generally grow old – it doesn’t take too much to say, “Well, what if a man grew young instead!”
So, since the idea by itself is not first rate, it’s left to the story to make the film interesting. This just doesn’t happen in David Fincher’s film. The idea is the film itself — David Fincher’s film offers you a two and a half hour journey of a man aging backwards! That’s all! Even for someone who’s highly amused by the idea, two and a half hours of a man, and it must be noted that he’s not a particularly interesting man; aging backwards is bound to be very taxing! Half an hour into the film, you find yourself asking, “Ok, now what?” There is nothing extraordinary about the film, other than the reverse-aging bit of course. The film is a regular love-story about two people and the ups and downs of their relationship – only one of them is aging backwards!
Benjamin Button travels all over the world and meets different people – a journey similar to the one taken by Forrest Gump in Robert Zemeckis’ film. If you actually met Benjamin Button, you’d probably have quite the conversation with him, but as far as the film goes, you can’t really care any less. And Brad Pitt doesn’t help the character in anyway. In fact, one of the key elements in the film would be the character of Benjamin Button – something that is completely neglected in the film. Pitt is wooden, stiff from all that makeup that’s aging him in reverse. I don’t know why a man aging in reverse has to be so mundanely mentally challenged. Button speaks when he is spoken to, walks around and that’s all.
The film however, tries to me more than what it is. It is constructed on a grand scale, like an epic, like it’s the greatest story ever told. With camerawork begging to be called spectacular, the film tries to give you the impression of being something really great – something that it is not.
Of course, the make-up work is incredible. There are scenes in the film where Pitt actually looks 18 years old. However, on the whole, the film is not an easy watch. The only thing I learnt was, a Brad Pitt aging in reverse, just makes me want to push down on Fast-forward.

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~ by bharatmirle on February 10, 2009.

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