Director: David Fincher

Cast: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Taraji P. Henson, Tilda Swinton

The Buzz: Nominated in Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Sound Editing, Best Visual Effects, Best Make-up, Best Original Score, Best Costume Design and Best Art Direction categories (phew!)

The Run: Won National Board of Review Award for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay

Fast-Food Cassavetes

Life is still the same Box of Chocolates!

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a phenomenal idea. One that could have eternally made us rave about the magic of cinema. Only if Eric Roth had realized what the idea of a man who ages in reverse means. Only if he had not been so straight faced and stiff about it all. Man, why don’t they leave these things to Tim Burton?

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a great joke. A joke that could have generated an endless series of gags and surprises. Instead, Fincher goes in for the kitsch. Look, we have a man who ages in reverse. Quite extraordinary indeed. I hear that in Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, the lead character never learns of his plight and that he ages both mentally and physically in reverse. But in Roth’s version, Benjamin ages backwards physically and forward mentally. Also he becomes perfectly aware of the ramifications of his plight as he grows up. Great move by Roth I must admit. But it is never capitalized upon at all. I mean, there is no conflict between contradicting states of growth. Benjamin could have been replaced by a normal character (a la Forrest Gump) and the script wouldn’t have to change much at all. As a result the film becomes nothing more than a coming of age (or going!) tale of a normal mind. The physical state of Benjamin Button is never seems to be a concern for anyone in the film except the CG department.

Hollywood seems to have perfected the craft of storytelling without even letting the storylines catch up. Yes, Benjamin Button is eye-popping all the way, gorgeously designed and fantastically executed. But all this is like those high profile food items – mouth-watering when looked at, but never ever filling. I would have wanted to love the film. Only if the film hadn’t taken itself too seriously, sigh.