Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Film Review:The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
If you haven't seen this film then don't read this yet. Benjamin Button was by far my most anticipated film of the year and I may have put it too high on a pedestal. This film was very good, but I wanted greatness and I didn't get that. I think David Fincher is one of the best directors working today and when you put Brad Pitt in his films it's usually gold. The problem I had was that Pitt's character doesn't ever seem to change. Benjamin is the same person from 7 years old to 25 to 50. He changes physically but not psychologically until the end. Cate Blanchett does go through this process which makes it even more apparent that Brad Pitt doesn't. I would have liked to see more struggles of having a child's mind in a old man's body and later the fear of looking and being treated like a child with a old man's mind. The film expresses that people come into this world a child and go out like a child. If a person lives long enough then that is true, but there is a difference between children and elderly people. I also thought the film cut from present day with Blanchett on her death bed in the wake of Katrina to Benjamin's story too often. It ends up being necessary for the ending, but it just does it way too many times and ruins the flow. Fincher could have cut at least 15 minutes of the modern scenes and added more to Benjamin's story and development. The film does look great and is groundbreaking in the use of CG and make-up on the characters aging process. I enjoyed the scenes between Benjamin and his real father(Jason Flemyng) and I would have liked to see that develop more. Tilda Swinton makes a brief appearance as Benjamin's first love and those scenes were very enjoyable and Pitt's best acting in the entire film. Where The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button really shines is the last half hour. As a viewer you begin to really fear for what faces Benjamin as he enters his teen and pre-teen years. You keep wondering what will he look like, how will he support himself, and will his health fail. I thought these issues were fascinating and wish the movie would have dedicated a little more time on this. Although I don't agree that Pitt leaving his wife and kid is really necessary or smart it doesn't hinder the film and even adds mystery to it. Overall a enjoyable film that could have been great if the screenwriter and director would have let Pitt's character progress more. 3.5 out of 5 stars.