Review: The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons
The premise of this movie is taken from the idea that man grows from a
baby to a man, then in his dotage becomes a baby once more. I suppose
some writer somewhere laughingly wondered, what if a man really did
become a baby? What would that be like? Then from that the inevitable
and almost cliche idea of a man being born old and becoming young, till
he becomes a baby again, and dies as a newborn. Fortunately the writer
who decided this was worth pursuing happened to be a very good writer
indeed and the result was deeper than the Marianas Trench.
A few points are brought up repeatedly and make a lovely theme. "You
never know what's gonna come at you." and "everyone's life is
different, really." It really does slap expectation in the face, time
and again. Just when you think it would be neat to get younger instead
of older, you get to see how much of a handicap it can be. Yet our
erstwhile hero does not become disabled by it, he just rolls with the
realities it brings and explores the results. Certainly a lesson we
can all learn. Because he doesn't waste time trying to shape how things
should be and instead explores how they are, he encounters richness of
life that makes for a fascinating film. It lasts 3 hours and you are
grateful to be able to stay there, in that curious world, that long.
He is born in 1918 as a wizened old man the size of a baby. As an
elderly child growing up he's isolated from childish pursuits. Too
fragile and crippled to play and so old looking that people treat him
like an elder instead of the child he is.
As the movie pursues the fleeting 20th century it's a wonderful look at
all the eras that went from the roaring 20s right through to the dawn of
the 21st century. I myself relived my own years watching them march by
on the screen.
Does Benjamin get to love? Well yes, the trailer itself reveals that he
has a life long love. He has other loves too, so that side of life is
well attended. He adventures, he loves, he keeps faith with love too,
even while he explores the varied ways of love.
Somewhere deep within my heart some wisdom has been laid. It will
settle gradually there and become part of my inner landscape;
be knowlege I always had, even though it was left there by this script.
Well worth the price of admission.