May 24, 2011

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (USA 2008)

I wasn't very curious about David Fincher's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" when it came out in theatres in 2008 but now I finally watched it - the two main reasons being my admiration for David Fincher's latest film "The Social Network" and the inclusion of the film in the Criterion Collection. Usually this means that a film is something special and worth seeing.

And something special it definitely it even if that something is not enough to make it a great film. The film is quite an achievement from a technical point of view and especially the rejuvenation process of Brad Pitt is so remarkably well done that it is almost scary. But the lack of adequate technology was not the only reason that Fitzgerald's short story was long called "unfilmable". It is a story that works much better in your own head. Translated on screen, the story of a character growing younger somehow feels a little ridiculous despite the near-perfect illusion. It is hard to be really emotionally attached to a character that is so far from reality.

That said, the film does touch some serious issues about aging and the fact that we must ultimately lose everyone we love. But that could have been told on a much smaller scale and in a shorter running time as well. The result of screenwriter Eric Roth's idea of making an epic out of a short story remains exactly that: an artificially inflated romantic drama that suggests way more meaning that it actually contains...


Finally coming together: Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett

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