Since I first started this site, I’ve wrestled with the concept of doing reviews. It always boiled down to the fact of – “Who wants to hear what I think?” Driving home from a movie theater tonight, I decided that I wanted to start grading movies on a letter system (based on enjoyment, not technical merit). It was then that I realized – heck, if someone is here at a website which bears my freakin’ name, well… they must be at least SOMEWHAT interested in what I have to say – even if it’s just to say I’m wrong 😉 So, tonight I start another new blog series (though I really didn’t intend to) with Reviews.
Title: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Time/Place: 3:20 showing at Ocean Ranch 7
I seem to recall reading the original short story back in school, but I sat down in the theater this afternoon not remembering a single thing about it. After perusing it online just now (you can find it HERE), I sure as the devil don’t remember a thing about it, but one thing is for sure – the movie is far different. I’m going to watch another movie right now (a movie last night put me in the mood for westerns, so 3:10 to Yuma is going to finish off the day with me), but I want to read the short story of Benjamin tomorrow. As for the movie? Well… it was lovely.
Don’t know the story? It’s simple: this fella is born with the body of an old man, and as he ages, his body grows younger. What this affords the movie, though, is the wonderful opportunity to tell a wonderful story about life. Sure, there is a love story, and it has a long run throughout the movie, but unlike in the case of Forrest Gump it’s not really the point of the movie. I’ve read complaints regarding this very thing – that the love story was somehow left without grand, epic conclusions, but I saw it as so much more than that. This movie dealt with love as it’s dealt with in life – just another piece of the puzzle. The tagline for the movie references that life is not made up of minutes, but of moments, and I think that is a lovely sentiment; one that this movie shows very well.
Obviously, the technical aspects of showing a person aging in reverse as they get older is difficult, and David Fincher (director) and his crew handle it well. The key, though, as with any good movie, is that the technical serves the story so well that it is all but forgotten. Believe me, seeing a diminutive old man, hobbling on crutches, with the face of Brad Pitt and the spirit and knowledge of a 7-year-old could very easily be distracting (haha, and quite insane), but this lovely little fairy tale engrossed me enough that I paid it not a second thought.
Do I recommend it? I certainly do.
Don’t see it because it’s a beautiful love story, or because Brad Pitt is hot (I’m straight, but even I can admit he looked pretty slick during the 1950’s portion of the movie). See The Curious Case of Benjamin Button because, while it can feel it’s length, it is filled with refreshing and touching ideas about life. See it because it is a movie that, though sad (as life will naturally be at times), has something very important to say about life, death, dreams, love, sacrifice, regret and everything that makes up our day-to-day existence. Besides… ya never know what’s comin’ for ya.