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The Curious case of Benjamin Button


The Curious case of Benjamin Button

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a 2008 American fantasy drama film, inspired by the same name short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The film was directed by David Fincher and it stars Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. The film received thirteen Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor for Pitt. It won three Oscars for Art Direction, Makeup and Visual Effects.

The movie starts with an old woman, Daisy, lying on her deathbed, with her daughter Caroline beside her. Daisy starts telling her a story about an old blind clock maker, Gateau, who was making a clock for the New Orleans train station. After hearing that his son had died in World War I, the clock maker continued work on his clock but when it was put up, he rev 636e49g ealed that the hands of the clock moved backward because he wished that time could turn back to bring back the soldiers dead in the war.

Daisy goes on to ask Caroline to read from an old diary. In this diary it has been recorded the life of a man called Benjamin, a curious person who was born with the appearance of an old man and ages backward like the mentioned clock. But Benjamin's and Daisy's life will interlace each other, giving birth to a moving love story.

Why I love this film

This movie depicts graphically the curious tale of a man who ages backwards through time and never lets his physical appearance keep him from living life to the fullest. Despite the fact that sometimes It is quite slow and tends to drag (being more than two hours long), it is a film worth seeing.

The acting of Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett as Benjamin and Daisy is extremely good and the storyline is very well written. Although the concept of aging backwards is impossible in reality, it succeeds in telling a realistic story of two people crossing paths in life in various situations and eventually falling in love, in spite of their differences.

The filming

New Orleans, Louisiana and the surrounding area were chosen as the filming location for the story to take advantage of the state's production incentives and shootings began in 2006. Principal photography was targeted to last a total of 150 days. Additional time was needed in post-production to create the visual effects for the metamorphosis of Brad Pitt's character from the older to the infant stage. The director used a camera system called Contour, developed by Steve Perlman, to capture facial deformations from live action performances. Overall production was finished in 2007. Since part of the movie is set during the Hurricane Katrina of New Orleans, the movie props were donated to the victims.

The themes

Benjamin Button is a long movie, but each second is of equal importance. There are many themes: it meditates on the fleetingness of time, love, aging, death.

Each day, Benjamin's internal clock runs inexorably backwards. Nothing lasts forever and the New Orleans setting before Katrina brings this idea. As a result it becomes   clear how much is important loyalty towards your friends, loving each-other no matter the circumstances, appreciating what you have and cherishing each day.

Benjamin learns that age isn't the barrier to accomplishment that we treat it as, that for everything there is a season and "when it comes to the end, you have to let go." One of the themes that works the best is that you're never too old to make a change, especially if you believe deeply in love. Love in all its forms: in this film also forgiveness is a way to love.

By starting at the end and working toward the beginning, David Fincher thoughtfully deals with one of life's hardest issues, death. Benjamin learns to receive from life the small gifts it has to offer. An elderly woman teaches him how to play piano, for example, and tells him that losing those who we love reminds us of the importance of our relationships.

A movie and a short story

"Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of 80 and gradually approach 18." That observation by Mark Twain inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald to pen his 1922 short story "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." Nearly a century later, the director David Fincher has made a cinematic adaptation.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald is about 26 pages. Consequently, it is expected to have many aspects in the film that was not present in the book. Even though these vast changes, the director clings to the profundity of Fitzgerald's words: "A life lived out of order just might be the secret to happiness".

David Fincher chose to changes the physical appearance of Benjamin Button at birth. The book describes Button as an old man with a long gray beard whose legs hang from the hospital's baby crib. But in the movie, Button is small as an average baby but appears to be a septuagenarian with aged wrinkled skin. Another distinction that immensely changes the story is Benjamin Button's cognitive ability. In the book,  Button has the intellectual level of a wise elderly man, while in the movie, Button's intellectual level is of a normal infant.

There is a major theme difference between the short story and the movie: the short story shows that Benjamin is finally in harmony physically and intellectually, and eventually is socially accepted. In the film, this won't happen and the relation with others will be more difficult.


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