Movie Review: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

Genre: Drama, Fantasy; Director: David Fincher
Stars: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is stuffed with dualities — young and old, birth and death. Unfortunately for Benjamin, the two words that came to my mind after seeing it were long and cold.

First of all, I have to say I am a bit disappointed because I love almost everything and everyone in this film. David Fincher is one of my most-loved directors. Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett and Tilda Swinton are some of my fave actors. But amidst the amazing visual display and the technical brilliance, this film awfully lacks something integral — emotional coherence.

The movie is just almost devoid of motion and emotions. To be fair to the actors, they did a good job. But the screenplay and direction do not harness the magnitude of emotions that the concept required. It’s just a cold film. I’m blaming the main character — Benjamin. No, not Brad Pitt but Benjamin Button himself. I know he’s acutely miserable because of his condition but that’s exactly the problem. He, being so emotionally distant, passive and impenetrable, is someone that is so hard to be attached with. It’s hard to relate to him not just because he’s a freak of nature but also because he’s cold.

The whole film feels like it’s about something interesting that happened to a very uninteresting person. And if you think about it, how much do we really know about Benjamin? The only thing we know about what’s going inside his head is that he loves Daisy. But what about his other desires? Aspirations? Ambitions?

I wasn’t even touched. Not even once. Or maybe it was me who was cold.

And yes, it is unnecessarily lengthy. I was bored to death. Or at least, I felt like I got several years older. And there I was thinking, Was it supposed to bore me? Maybe that’s the intention? But whatever, I’ve been delightfully bored by some movies before. But this ennui wasn’t pretty.

To be fair, this film is a technical masterpiece. Despite its biting stagnancy, I STILL LIKE IT! It almost gave me a visual orgasm several times throughout the film. I just wish there was more to it than its looks. Apparently, Benjamin is someone you’d be curious to meet. But once you’ve known him, ah, ho-hum. 3.9

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