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Review: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

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Directed by: David Fincher

Produced by: Kathleen Kennedy

Starring: Brad PittCate Blanchett, Taraji P. Henson, Tilda Swinton

Release Dates: 25 December, 2008 (USA); 5 February, 2009 (UK)

Inspired by the 1921 short story of the same name written by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Now this was one of my most anticipated movies of 2008, though I could only get a chance to watch it a month into this year. This review comes after another two weeks. After getting more than a dozen nominations for the 2009 Oscars, I really wanted to watch this movie and after doing so, I surely believe it deserves quite a few of those accolades!

What a beautiful movie! The story speaks of the life of Benjamin Button, a normal guy, except for the fact that he ages backward. Born as a child with the biological body of an 86 year old, the movie shows how Benjamin gropes with the realities of life and love with a brain that ages forward but with a body that’s ‘headed in the other direction’. Abandoned by his father on the day he was born, Benjamin is raised by a couple from a nursing home. He meets the love of his life in Daisy (Cate Blanchett) as a kid (but biologically much older), travels across the ends of the world as a sailor, survives an attack in the World War II among the numerous other such exciting happenings in his eventful life!

Now there are almost a dozen supporting actors and actresses with separate lives in the movie with a good amount of screen time and each one of them puts in a tremendous performance. At the end of the movie, you can’t help but recollect each and every one of them and think of the how different people can be! So many lives being portrayed is also the main reason why the movie is so long, with a runtime of about 2 hours and 45 minutes. That’s probably the only drawback, it sometimes feels too long.

The movie is one of the best takes (ever) on the eternal mysteries of life and death. It is a poetic interpretation of those concepts, and a near perfect one at that. The movie flows on like a melody and never revs into top gear, which is what was so nice about it. Interestingly, it portrays America over a period of almost 8 decades, with some awesome costume designs and historically accurate sets. Yes, there are a few similarities to the plot of Forrest Gump, but they are never too pronounced. And yes, what an absolute brilliant performance by Brad Pitt! He sure is one the best actors around! This movie truly tests his capabilites, as he has to play every age group with the same persona and charisma, and he does it too well! I won’t be surprised at all if he scoops the Academy Award for the Best Actor, for which he has been nominated. When you see him at the start of the movie, you are convinced that he’s a 90-odd year old, and when you see him towards the end, you feel he’s the typical teen! Whoa!

Though this movie doesn’t quite make my Best Ever list, I can completely understand why it tops that list for many! Watch it for the sake of good cinema!

My rating would be a 9/10.

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February 12, 2009 Posted by | Movies | , | 2 Comments