Thoughts on “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

I’m sure many of you have heard of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. It was nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. The film tells a tale of a man who is born with the appearance of an 80 year old man and as he grows from child to man, he becomes more and more younger. His life is viewed through his eyes as he travels the world and reconnected with an old love, Daisy. Think of it as a Forrest Gump sorts of journey…but with a reverse aging of the protaganist.

Sound interesting? Of course. When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I was intrigued. I wanted to see why he was born this way and how he would walk though his life.

The first question was never answered. Benjamin says in the film that he was just born that way, “under unusual circumstances.” However the whole movie answered the second question.

The movie tackles the idea that life could be infinitely happier and way more better if the pains and sorrows could be erased. In fact this movie runs through it head on. Death is a recurring in Benjamin’s life. He grows up around death, as he was taken care of in an old person’s home, and lives around death. He fought in World War II and saw death. Those who he would regard as family die. The message is to accept the pain instead of denial. An influence in Benjamin’s life had said, “You can be as mad as a dog at the ways things went, you can swear and curse the fates, but when it comes to the end, you have to let go.”

However a message as thoughtful as this is marred by sex. Many one night stands take place in the film and it certainly shows that the general public has become calloused to sex in the media. The film shows no consequences for the promiscuous life, which is dangerous to those watching a PG-13 movie.

I walked out of that theater with a very unsatisfied taste. I had walked out feeling gloomy. The movie had a great message: pain and suffering is inevitiable. Cherish the days you have now. However three hours of a movie that hardly had any bright sides and any hope in it would of course leave me gloomy. The sex in the movie also shocked me and further discouraged me from liking the movie. I wish that the movie was cut a little bit shorter as it lost some of its steam in the second half. The ending was also a bit unsettling.

Here’s hoping that more movies would be as thought provking as Benjamin Button.

P.S. this is the only movie where you’ll see a tugboat take out a German U-Boat.


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