Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

I'm not in the movie review business, however I have just seen this movie last night and I stongly recommend it.

I thought that the premise was interesting; a man living in reverse, being born old then getting younger throughout his life. Then I saw that Brad Pitt was the lead in the movie, I was disappointed. I had just recently seen Valkyrie and I was disappointed by Tom Cruise so I wasn't eager seeing another movie with a celebrity name attached to it. But still...the premise was interesting. So I went to see the movie with a friend of mine, at the very least, I thought, Brad was eye candy.

I couldn't have been more wrong (well not about the eye candy part) but this movie is extremely well put together - movie art I'll call it. I actually forgot that I was looking at Brad and became engrossed in the storyline.

I'm getting to it. The movie is set in New Orleans in 2005, Katrina is coming. There is a deathbed reading of a diary of a man called Benjamin Button. This diary is read to Daisy who was Benjamin's love. The story commences in 1918 when Benjamin is born. His mother dies shortly after giving birth and the father (whom we see again later in the movie) is horrified by his wrinkly son and places him on the stairs of a rest home where he is taken in by an attendant. He grows up (grows younger) in the rest home where he is surrounded by people he physically resembles and by death. He seems to understand the concept of death early in life which puts a spin on how it is viewed throughout the movie. Of course there is a young girl (Daisy) that visits the home, while they are attracted to each, life takes them in different paths. In his travels, Benjamin keeps writing to her. Yes they do get together at some point in the movie but just go see it.

I would say that the flavour of this movie is more reminicent of Forest Gump "ish". Throughout the flow of the movie we see Benjamin experience life, learning about sex, alcohol, the war and friendships. He is remarkably passive except after Daisy's terrible accident.

I loved the way the special effects were not obvious - most movies these days just throw it in your face. Obviously there were some morphing and manipulation to show the aging effect or whatever its called, but my attention was not drawn to it.

I won't go into details but there are numerous subleties to the movie that will remain with you after you leave the theatre.

Oh and yes he rides several motorcycles in the movie and I'm in love with that little blue one pictured above.

Some Facts:

The movie is loosely based on a story authored in 1921 by F. Scott Fitzgerald (same title) about a man living his life in reverse.

Althought Benjamin's situation is fiction, there are some age-related diseases that exist. Progeria, or Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome is a rare, fatal genetic condition characterized by an appearance of accelerated aging in children. These children rarely live past the age of 13, usually dying of heart disease.

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