Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Review

Recently, I saw that a movie is set to be released this Christmas called "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" I read the synopsis and found it very curious. I then went out to wikipedia to get a little more info and found that it was based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Fortunately, I found that the short story was available on the internet to read, so I read it.

It is a very curious story. The short of this short story is that a man is born into the body and mental capacity of a 70 year old man. As he lives, he gets younger. It is interesting how the author encapsulates the typicals of each age as Benjamin regresses in age and how the ends of our lives can be similar. You feel bad for him as an elderly newborn, just wanting to fit in. You root for him as he gains acceptance and even marries. You feel bad for him again as he feels distanced from his wife as they age apart. You root for him again as he enters his fifties with a 20 year old body and becomes a football hero. Then, you again feel bad for him as his memories and drive again no longer match his physical ability. He no longer makes the football team and barely graduates from Harvard. His son becomes his caretaker and demands that he be called "Uncle". He slips into the joy of being a child and a toddler and is only filled with happiness. And then you feel the looming end in a way never before read.

Unlike the dying gasp of a character, you see this person regress into only experiencing sights an aromas, to the final conclusion of a non-existence. The story's characters also portray differing glimpses on the generations as they come into Benjamin's life in their youth only to age cynically. Unfortunately, I saw a preview of the film and it appears to be a total departure from the story as they attempt to fit it into our world. One of the things the story doesn't even mention is how it is physically possible to birth an elderly man. The movie bridges that gap. The story also focuses on how a father deals with this situation as it is most awkward for the man, but it looks like the movie really centers on the female relationships. I still plan on watching it.

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