Review: ‘Benjamin Button’ is achingly romantic

Last Updated: Friday, February 27, 2009 - 21:17

Spicezee Bureau

Mumbai, Feb 27: ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ deserves applause. The film strikes a chord with the audience due to the treatment of the unusual film and convincing performances by the characters.

Based on an F Scott Fitzgerald’s short story about a man who ages in reverse, the unique storyline of the film has been dealt brilliantly and the emotional portrayal is sensitively done. Director David Fincher raises various philosophical questions in the film, which makes one sit back and think.

Brad Pitt’s character evokes nostalgia. He ages backwards in this Oscar-buzz movie. As a young boy, he`s old and wrinkled, and as an old man, he`s an infant. All along the way, his love interest Daisy (Cate Blanchett) struggles with their relationship as she ages normally. They `meet in the middle` to consummate their love. This film is an experiment to counter the old adage that `youth is wasted on the young.` Is life better aging in reverse?

It`s just so achingly sad: Pitt, as the title character, is doomed from the start. He can travel the world and live a life that`s adventurous and full, but he can never truly be with the woman he loves, Daisy (Cate Blanchett), whom he meets when she`s just a little girl (played by Elle Fanning) and he`s a boy trapped in an old man`s body.

Eric Roth`s script may seem naggingly similar to that of Forrest Gump – which he also wrote – but it seems more concerned with the transformational power of true love than the gimmickry of an unusual existence.

Daisy has been telling his story, and theirs, through a present-day framing device as she lies dying in a New Orleans hospital bed. Hurricane Katrina is on the way, and she has to tell the tale to her daughter (Julia Ormond) before it`s too late.

But neither Benjamin nor Daisy questions the complexity of their situation: They merely make the most of it, in ways big and small, for as long as they possibly can.

The film does justice to the spirit of the book and its aching romance leaves one emotional.

Rating: Three Cheers!

First Published: Friday, February 27, 2009 - 21:17

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