- Saturday, March 28, 2009

Journal #001 - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

Date Viewed: 4th March 2009
Directed by: David Fincher

While the idea of unveiling the life of an odd man through reading isn’t something new, it certainly suits this movie. Whether this movie followed closely to the book it adapted from, I am unsure; hence, I will just judge according to what I view.

The script of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is written so beautifully that it cannot not make an impact. While there are comments at http://imdb.com about this movie for its pace (many think this movie is rather slow), I have to say that if it were quicker, the essence of the movie, the emotions, the words, the beauty would have evaporated into thin air; if it were slower, it would lose its initial impact and bore the viewers so much that their main focus would be how many times they yawned throughout the movie.

Carefully written, the script managed to bring to life the poignant perspective of the curious Benjamin and yet leave a stunning impact on the viewers (especially me), causing them to wonder about life.

Some quotes I love from the movie are:
"Some people were born to sit by a river, some get struck by lightning, some have an ear for music, some are artists, some swim, some know buttons, some know Shakespeare, some are mothers. And some people dance."
"It's not about how well you play, it's about how you feel you play."
"We're made to lose people we love. How else will we know how important they are to us?"
"You can be mad as a mad dog at the way things went, you can swear and curse fates, but when it comes to the end, you have to let go."

The reason why this movie has such an impact is because of the focus of the shots on the faces of the characters. Capturing the moment, the faces, the emotions, each shot added together, edited well, managed to show each character’s reality to the viewer. I personally think that the technology used made this movie a huge success. Come on, it won three awards – and that is plural!

After watching this movie, the music still lingers at my ears. Each ring of the triangle, each stroke of the strings’ bow, each emphasis the orchestra put as a whole to produce such “curious” effect, if I may add. I think that the music and sounds did what it was supposed to do: carry the music. Just as Hugh Jackman quoted Audrey Heartburn in the recent Oscars, “A movie without music is just like an airplane without fuel”, I believe that this airplane has soared very, very high and has managed to capture the thoughts of many audiences who know how to appreciate such a poignant and beautiful movie.

Needless to say, at the very mention of the all-gorgeous, heart-melting Brad Pitt and the ever-talented Cate Blanchett, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is to be considered seriously. While personally, I think Pitt’s performance is as always – normal, I have to applause Blanchett for doing an amazing job in portraying the growth of a lady who loves a man with her whole heart. Other supporting performers like Taraji Hensen add to the spice of making this movie an extraordinary one.

Prevalent Values and Themes
Family first: It is the family that shapes the child to be who he is. Should a child discover he/she is not wanted and is given away at birth, that knowledge would be a horrific one, and would certainly impair the esteem of the child.

Love: Powerful, as all of us know, love is not just that strong emotion that leaves two individuals in stun and “extra activities”; it is patience (Daisy, Benjamin’s wife, was beside him all along even when he had forgotten who she was as he grew older in age but younger in appearance). It is respect (Benjamin could’ve slept with Daisy when she was young and immature, but he did not because he knew that love does not just revolve around sex).

Time is of the essence: For Benjamin, he was born as a child with wrinkled, ugly skin. In his childhood, he looked like an old man at the age of 80. In his old age, he looked like a small kid! But what made him stood out was that even though he was different, time was still ticking and he wasn’t out of time’s grasp. He had to grasp each opportunity to love, to experience life, to live. For Daisy, she knew as each day passes, he is growing older in age, but younger physically, and she had to always remind him she was there although eventually he had forgotten about it.

Personal Lessons Learnt
I would not have enough space to pen each thought I have about this beautiful movie. But some of the personal lessons I have learned is that life is fragile, and all of us are taking it for granted (and that includes me). We chase our passion, we scream for excitement, but when it is all gone, what next?

I learned that loving somebody isn’t as easy as many other movies out there portray as it is. Just fall in love, kiss, have sex, exchange the rings, and tada! “happily ever after”. It is about giving chances, seeing through each other’s weaknesses and understanding that everybody has his/her own sets of vulnerability, fears and weaknesses. It is about giving, not just receiving. It is about letting go the wrongs, the pasts and focusing on what there is of now. Love is a far more complex idea than what I know right now, and at the end of the movie, I can’t help but sigh and find myself amazed at how God is great – that He, Love of loves, can love me with such unconditional love even I couldn’t possible comprehend.

1 comment:

Holly said...

I agree that the film ia special and the plot is unique. I was eager to watch it and fownloaded from rapidshare as soon as it appeared there. But after having watched the film, I felt a bit blue and almost depressed.