Monday, January 5, 2009
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
I am not trying to be harsh on the film, but I went in expecting something new and brilliant and got Big Fish only an hour longer and without the fantastical aspects. I am disappointed because where I enjoyed seeing Tim Burton break out of his box, there was nothing stale with David Fincher’s style that made him breaking out of his box refreshing. I also feel that the trailers and the actual movie make you feel like there is some large purpose or point behind The Curious Case of Benjamin Button but in the end there was a lot of build up but no pay off, no greater lesson the character learned and wanted to impart on you. I feel like this was the dramatic equivalent of a summer movie – while all the story was nice, and the performances wonderful people really just wanted to see the special effects. I do suppose that’s a valid reason to see it simply because the effects and visuals of the film are stunning, Fincher really does know how to compose a dynamic shot and make a gorgeous movie.
One of the things I didn’t like about the digital effects was the aging of Cate Blanchett, and oddly enough I am not complaining about the effects to make her look older but the ones to make her look younger. When they make her look in her 20’s to me she looks so digitally touched she is practically glowing. This may have been what Fincher was going for but personally I found it distracting.
I was going to mention how much I enjoyed Brad Pitt playing Benjamin at so many ages, but I just checked IMDB and about 5 people played Benjamin before Brad Pitt comes into the film so I must applaud the special effects there (because I couldn’t tell) and yet now I feel I can’t give Brad Pitt the kudos I thought he deserved.
I also think that some of my problems with the film might have been eliminated if they took one more pass in the editing room – I honestly think everything in the present time line could have been dropped and done with voiceovers and made the film’s story pack more of a punch, but I do understand Fincher’s desire to keep what he shot. However, every time the film cut back to the present I did feel that the flashbacks lost a little of their dramatic punch and this could have led to me thinking that the film built up a lot of expectations that it didn’t fulfill.
I don’t mean to come down too harshly on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I did like the movie, think it was well made, and find the story adorable. I merely think that there is an air of pretension behind the film that it would be better without.
Director: David Fincher
Writer: Eric Roth
Daisy: Cate Blanchett
Benjamin Button: Brad Pitt
Thomas Button: Jason Flemyng
Queenie: Taraji P. Henson
Captain Mike: Jared Harris
Elizabeth Abbott: Tilda Swinton
Benjamin Button: I was thinking how nothing last, and what a shame that is.
Daisy: Some things last.