‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ (2008) Movie Review
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” starts off with the woman he loved,Daisy (Cate Blanchett) dying of old age laid up in the hospital. Her daughter comes in,and she begins to tell her of a special man named Benjamin (Brad Pitt) who was born old,aged backwards, and died as an infant. The story tells how Benjamin’s biological mother died giving birth to him. Then his biological father,Thomas Button (Jason Flemyng) takes Benjamin and leaves him on a stairway with another family to take care of him.
The new family though a little freaked out by his appearance, raise him as their own. He’s diagnosed to die in a short time after birth as he has the health of an eighty year old man,but since Benjamin is actually aging backwards hs health gets progressively better. He starts off in a wheel chair unable to walk.Then he moves to the walking sticks. Next the walking cane . Then he meets Daisy, a young elementary school girl who he takes a liking to which seems odd since his outer appearance is that of an old man. Nevertheless, they become good friends and Benjamin continues to age backwards. Still older looking,his health noticeably improves as his back straightens up and he is able to walk without the cane. As time goes on he’s able to run and lift things which is when he goes to work on a tugboat for Captain Mike (Jared Harris) for the first time. He eventually decides to go away at sea on the tugboat for a number of years leaving Daisy behind. They promise to write each other,but he eventually stops after meeting someone else.
When he finally returns home he’s much younger and distinguished and Daisy barely recognizes him until he speaks and tells her it’s him. Daisy has become a ballet dancer in New York and has to return so once again they are separated from each other. After Benjamin tries a few unsuccessful attempts to visit her in New York, he sees that her life has changed and that she’s met someone else . So more years pass before they see each other again. When they finally meet up again he’s much younger and looks like a man in his twenties. since they are close in age they become a couple somewhere in the middle of their chronological order.At this point he has grown convincingly younger and has witnessed all the people he loves around him grow older and die. Him and Daisy have a child. He starts to realize that this is a big mistake for him as he knows that he is aging backwards and soon will not be able to take care of his daughter.
He decides to go away ,and doesn’t return until he’s a teenager. He gets to meet his daughter when she’s a teenager,but is introduced to her as a friend of the family so she doesn’t know that he’s actually her father. Daisy and him make love one last time. Then the next time she sees Benjamin he is a junior high kid and has started to forget who he his and the people he’s met. Daisy is called to a shelter where he’s staying. She ends up taking care of him, and she sees him become an elementary kid to a toddler. She sees him as he starts to forget how to walk,talk,eventually becomes a crying baby,and then finally dies in her arms. Then we go back to the hospital scene in present day where Daisy reveals to her daughter that, that young boy she met when she was a teenager was actually her father.
My Take : Wow,this movie gave me the hee bee jee bees if that’s even real. The concept was just so odd and it did answer my biggest question since first learning about the film. Which is would he age backwards into non existence. It was kind of sad really in a very odd way to say the least because I couldn’t imagine aging backwards into a baby and losing my mind. That’s kind of a frightening reality to have to carry with you during your life. I thought they would have him age backwards and keep his mind intact,but this was not the case which made it sort of disturbing for me towards the end. Again,it was just such an odd concept to think about. In fact I’m still thinking about it which I don’t usually do after seeing a movie. I thought the acting was superb and the story awesomely unique to say the least. While it was a long almost 3 hour drama it kept me interested the whole way through.
I applaud this film just based on the uniqueness alone. If you want to see a movie that will make you think about life in a different way,and just want to see something different and unique. Then I definitely recommend you go see “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”. It will definitely have you leaving the theater thinking if nothing else. Curious doesn’t do this film justice. I would have named it “The Mysterious Case of Benjamin Button” at the very least because I would’ve been a little bit more than curious to see a man age backwards,and it would be very much a mystery.
Grade : A