The Curious Case of Benjamin Button — the previews were intriguing — the story was thought provoking — the thought of spending almost three hours with Brad Pitt was irresistible!!! So, Mom and I went to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button today – here is my review!!!
Who hasn’t wondered what it would be like to be young and possess all the knowledge and wisdom gained from a life of experiences and relationships? But, would you want to be born old and grow physically younger as you grow older in years? That is the concept of the wonderful story of Benjamin Button – an intriguing concept, to say the least!
Brad Pitt stars as Benjamin Button. Benjamin is born on the day World War I ended in 1918. His mother dies in child birth and his father is so distraught over her death and in shock over what he sees when he first looks at his new son that he takes him wrapped in a blanket and leaves him on the steps of an old folks home in New Orleans. Taken in by a young, single black woman, he is soon discovered to be quite “different”. A doctor in the home determines the newborn has all the medical issues and characteristics of a man in his 80s and predicts he won’t live very long. But, Benjamin proves him wrong and lives a very long life — aging backwards!!!
Over the course of almost three hours, we follow Benjamin’s life via the reading of a diary that he wrote to document his incredible story. The diary is read by a young woman reading to her mother, Daisy (portrayed by Cate Blanchett), who is on her death bed. Daisy was a life long love of Benjamin’s and was intertwined throughout his life. As the diary is read, we see Benjamin go from a withered baby appearing to not be long for this world, to a feeble old man riddled with arthritis, to a middle aged man going through the experiences of a teenager, to a virile young man in his elder years, to a child with dementia, and finally to a baby.
Brad Pitt does an amazing job of portraying Benjamin and making him totally believable and interesting. The expressions and wonderment that came through on his face were perfect! Here you have a man who looks old and experienced in life, but he is listening to the stories being told to him with all the amazement and wonder that a child would have. People who knew him knew he was just a child, but those he meets along his journey think he’s an old man and are amazed that he doesn’t have the life knowledge and experiences expected of a man of the age he appears to be. It was absolutely fascinating to watch him go through life interacting with the world around him!
Mom and I went to Lil’ Dino’s for a sub after the movie and we talked and talked about what we thought of the story and whether or not we would want to age in reverse, like Benjamin did. Would it be better to go through the pains of old age before you are able to understand the limitations it causes and then get younger, stronger, and able to take on the world after you gain the knowledge and experiences that would benefit you in your older years? One strong argument against this option that really struck me was him watching all his close friends and family die around him, knowing that he would continue on getting younger without them and watching his loved ones age while he grows younger! That was so sad to watch. So — the movie raised more questions than answers for this concept!! I’m not sure I have a strong opinion either way…..
As for those who think that the movie had no “meaning” – I think quite the contrary! It definitely served its purpose – to provoke thoughts and wonderment – to show that everyone has an impact on those they come in contact with and you don’t have to do grand acts to be “special” or to touch others profoundly – to show that everyone is worthy and capable of love, regardless of how different they are – and that life and relationships are precious and should never be taken for granted. That’s what I got out of the movie — that and the warmth and awe that took over my heart as I watched the story unfold. It was a thoroughly enjoyable movie – one I will likely watch again and again and again!!!!
I rate this one an A+ and highly recommend it!