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Curios Case of Benjamin Button, The

Curios Case of Benjamin Button, The

When the first buzz about The Curious Case of Benjamin Button begins to surface in the internet, about a reverse-aging case of one called Benjamin Button (Brad Pitt), in which he was born with wrinkles and physical attributes that suites a man in his 80 and “grows younger” physically while he grows older mentally as the years went by, my early thought was that this is going to be a fun science-fiction film. It turns out, that the film was actually a meditative drama, of one that has to endure he was special, to endure the loss, to accept whatever fate (or kismet) life throws in his path.

The film was quite divisible in three parts, early childhood of Benjamin Button, his middle years, and his golden age. Each parts told his path and how his special case affected others that had their life’s path intersected with him.

The first part, the early childhood, was of a mild interest. This is where I made an early verdict that this film, albeit beautifully made (just check the attention to details that David Fincher has in making his shots), somehow emotionally lacked. Brad Pitt’s portrayal (with make-ups and CGIs) of one with vigor mentality trapped within a physical constraint of an aging vessel didn’t quite made me sympathetic or rooting for him. Oh, he’d get nominations for his dedication, for sure, but I don’t think that he’s going to go home with a prize. And this is also the part where I’ve made a comparison to Forrest Gump (which was written for screen by the same dude), a film which puzzled me because so many people I know, loving it for reasons I couldn’t comprehend. Boy, I was so glad I was wrong.

The second part and the finale of this film is what made this a stand out drama in my opinion, as well as mostly responsible for my rating.

The supporting actors and actresses are what made this film enticingly great. Tilda Swinton who consistently gives great performances in her last three films that I saw, Jared Harris as the “Chelsea” tug-boat captain made the best out of their limited screen-time. And of course, Cate Blanchett, who brings buoyant spirit to Daisy. I felt more emotionally connected to their characters in regard of their relationship with Benjamin. Even more so with Ms.Blanchett’s Daisy whose scenes kept me hooked and swooned. Her loss, her grief, her unspoken love and dedication are what sent the emotional avalanche that sent me off of my feet even if although her final scene seems a bit rushed, and too short to my liking, I couldn’t help but frown and fend off the urge to shed a tear.

The film was more than two and a half hour long, so if drama wasn’t your cup of tea, there’s a great chance you’d dozed off from a boredom. Especially if you had thought that this film is about the science and fiction of “reverse-aging” phenomenon which is certainly was not.

My rating: ***1/2 / **** Accept the fact that “reverse-aging” is possible without wondering too much about it, and you could enjoy this film very much. Given that you love drama, that is.

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