The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
 
 
 

The Curious Case of Brad Pitt

Your life is defined by its opportunities... even the ones you miss - Benjamin

Brad Pitt as Benjamin Button in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

With all the marketing hype and award platitudes dished out on "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" it is one of those movies which any fan of the silver screen feels obliged to watch, to see what all the fuss is about. Sadly it's a lot of fuss over nothing as "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is a huge, over long and drawn out disappointment which probably would have been a little more enjoyable if the marketing men hadn't over hyped it and given many people false expectations.

In "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", Brad Pitt stars as Benjamin who arrives in the world with all the illnesses associated with a man in the last days of life arthritis, blindness, and mobility issues. Discarded by his father at the steps of an old people's home, he is found by the warm hearted Queenie (Taraji P. Henson - Four Brothers) who believes the poor mite has just days to live and sets about caring for him. Except as the days go by he keeps on getting stronger and it soon becomes apparent to Benjamin that he is living his life in reverse, getting younger and stronger as those around him get older and die.

Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

There is one thing which the marketing people failed to tell us about "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", its bloomin' boring and at nearly 3 hours long, that's a long time to be bored. Once you get past the visual impressiveness of "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and the theoretically clever idea of a movie about a man who basically lives his life in reverse there is very little else of any interest to make the movie exciting. In fact the different parts of Benjamin's life we encounter through out the movie are dull when they shouldn't be and are dragged out much longer than is necessary.

The big problem is that "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" can't really go anywhere, as a movie about the life of a man be it aging normally or backwards will always end in death, we know this and although it may throw up some interesting scenarios, such as experiencing sex for the first time as an old man, or the problems with falling in love when you know that your partner is going to grow older as you get younger, there is nothing really of any major consequence to really keep you interested and any questions it poses are completely unreal.

Probably the one major saving grace of "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is that it is exceedingly visually impressive and the Oscars it won for "Best Achievement in Makeup" and also "Best Achievement in Visual Effects" I feel are well deserved. The whole composure of the movie is masterful and the recreation of each era in Benjamin's life looked pretty authentic. But the real stand out thing is the actual aging process of Benjamin. From the early scenes where it's obvious that Pitt wasn't playing the character yet his face was still visible in the character, through to when he starts to become younger and begins to look much younger than Pitt's own age, I have to say I was incredibly impressed by all this, just not enough to stop me feeling bored once it all wore off.

As for the cast well alongside Pitt are the likes of Tilda Swinton, Cate Blanchett and Julia Ormand but I can't really say that anyone of them put in a performance which was that memorable. Other than obviously Benjamin Button the only character which really made any impact on me was that of Queenie played by Taraji Henson who at least made the first 30 minutes or so a little more entertaining as she raises the elderly but young Benjamin.

One thing which is worth mentioning is that many reviewers have compared "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" to "Forrest Gump" mainly because Eric Roth wrote both screenplays. There are a few loose similarities such as the narrative spoken by the lead character and that both movies deal with the events which happen in one person's life but the comparisons really stop there and as you may guess "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is for me no where as enjoyable as "Forrest Gump".

What this all boils down to is that I'm sad to say that "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" was not the movie I expected and was mainly down to so much positive hype that many people jumped on the band wagon of calling it a must see movie, which it really isn't. Enjoyable in parts, boring for the majority and seriously over long, the only thing which made me curious is what everyone else saw in it that I didn't.

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