Benjamin Button: A Review

In his song, “Start with the Ending,” folk crooner David Wilcox laments that life’s best comes at the beginning when we do not have the maturity to consciously enjoy it, while the worst part arrives at the end when we can feel it with all the sharp keenness of experience. If only we could “start with the ending, get it out of the way,” he sings.

For Benjamin Button, he was old at the beginning, and young at the end. It’s an interesting take on life that kept me intrigued throughout the latest film by director David Fincher, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”. The film is loosely based on the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and it tells the story of a young man who is born parentless and appearing as an old man. The longer he lives, the younger he becomes. This gives him a unique perspective on aging, living and dying that kept me thinking throughout the film and long after the credits had rolled.

Brad Pitt is at his best here, at least since his stunning performance in “Fight Club”. Cate Blanchett is fiery, warm and beautiful. Together, they create one of the best love stories on screen this decade. The stars must align just right in order for the two to finally fall in love at the time when their ages and appearance meet each other. It is a lovely romance to behold on the screen.

The cinematography is stunning, the performances are outstanding, and the innovative technology is masterful without getting in the way of the very humanity of the film. There is a certain coldness and remoteness to the film, and one wonders why Fincher did not draw us closer to these characters and the loneliness of the situation. However, this remains my 2nd favorite film of the year (“The Dark Knight” is first), and one that was worth the investment of time to glean the wisdom of living in reverse.


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