This near three-hour-long movie is reminiscent of Brad Pitt’s three-hour long Meet Joe Black, in which Pitt played Death. However, unlike Joe Black, this one isn’t exactly a three-hour visual feast of one of Hollywood’s hunkiest hunks.
While Joe Black dealt with the philosophical and metaphysical themes of life, death and love, this new offering takes the viewers on a questioning journey with similar themes, with visuals, characters and dialogue that make Benjamin Button worthy of all the Oscar buzz it has been receiving.
Based on a short story by F Scott Fitzgerald which was in turn inspired by a one-liner by Oscar Wilde, the story begins with a baby being born under “unusual circumstances”. Baby Benjamin was born shriveled, half-blind, arthritic and with all the physical attributes of a senior citizen near death. A charismatic and lively African-American lady who tends to a retirement home takes pity and nurtures the abandoned baby as her own, thinking that it would not have long to live. To her surprise, young Benjamin did not succumb to his physical ailments, but continued to grow as young babies tend to. As he grew, it appeared that he was growing in reverse. As each year passes, his joints and limbs gain greater strength, he isn’t as bald as he was the year before and his wrinkles appear to be diminishing each passing month. This is the curious case of Benjamin Button.
The movie unfolds through his diary, chronicling the life journey of a man who grows older in knowledge and experience like most of us do, but is physically moving in reverse each passing year. The characters and events that unfold are memorable and poignant, telling the story of a simple man, slightly different, but hungry to take in all the experiences the world has to offer.
If you’re the type of moviegoer who places emphasis on acting, visuals, script, concept, story line and originality, then it’s very likely you will enjoy this movie. It’s not every day you get a movie that is charged with enough substance and depth to make you examine your own life and possibly change for the better. Watch it.