Movie Review : The Wonderful Case of Benjamin Button  

Posted by CK in , , ,

If there ever was a wish that most people make, it is that they stay young forever. Or even have the chance to grow young again. And if there ever was a story that make you think twice about that, that’s the story of a man who had no choice in the matter. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is the tale of a man whose life is inexplicably linked to a clock. A clock made by a father who is so heartbroken by the death of his young son, that he makes it tick backwards. It was almost as if the man, by simple act of making this clock, was willing time to reverse itself and give him his son back.


This is a wonderful story, so eternally tragic and sad. The loneliness and the heartache of a person who’s destined (some might say, doomed) to grow younger while everyone around him ages normally. Benjamin Button is born with the body of an 80-year-old. He is abandoned by his father at the steps of an old age home and is taken in by a caring, sweet woman who looks at him like God’s gift. It is thought he wouldn’t live very long but then, he starts aging. Backwards. Every year that passes sees Benjamin grow just a little bit stronger, a little younger. And then, of course, as there is in every story worth telling, he falls in love. He meets a young girl, Daisy, who comes to visit her grandmother at the same home he is in. And he lives his life by one very simple tenet, “You never know what’s coming.”


This movie was the first one in a very long time that made me stop and think. It’s every person’s role in life to live a certain way, experience all that life has to offer and grow old, hopefully with someone else that you’d love to grow old with. And if you’re lucky, you die with them. Maybe to go on to a better place and maybe not. This is the way that things are meant to be. But then again, men are never ones to accept their fate and make their peace with it. It is in every fiber of our being that we don’t like to lie down and accept anything. This is a fight that’s been going on through the course of our existence. The search for the Tree of Life, the Fountain of Youth, some elixir that would magically let us live forever. The quest to be immortal is as old as our species itself. And whether it will be achieved is something that only time will tell. After watching this movie, I’m not sure I want to find the Fountain or any elixir, for that matter.


Benjamin’s life is tied to that of just one other person, Daisy. She is the only constant and he keeps meeting her at different junctions in their lives, her growing up and him heading in the other direction. The only time they can truly be together is when they meet in the middle. They’re both around 40 when they decide they can be together and share a life, even if it is for short period of time before the unfortunate fate that is his sends them in different directions. Because, while growing young is all well, you must understand that the same thing that people try to avoid in growing old happens again. You forget to walk, you forget how to take care of yourself and finally, you can hold yourself up. Age is a fickle thing in any direction. It’s actually true when they say that you leave this world exactly how you come in to it. Vulnerable, helpless and dependant on the care of others.  


This movie is a definite must see. Brad Pitt as Benjamin Button and Cate Blanchett as Daisy portray the pain of living such a life with so much grace and understated brilliance. The narrative takes you to all the important junctures in his life, most of them involving Daisy. And his attempts to live a normal life, fully knowing that there’s nothing normal about it, is heart-wrenching. I hope Pitt does win the Academy Award for this film because it is truly deserved.  

This entry was posted on Sunday, February 8, 2009 at Sunday, February 08, 2009 and is filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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