The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is moving, but ultimately disappointing

January 21, 2009

I hate the fact that we are mortals. I also abhor the fact that we age and gradually lose our physical and mental abilities. Benjamin Button played on those fears as no movie ever has and made me sob throughout.

Death is a constant companion throughout the movie and the few moments of joy in the middle of the film were overshadowed by the ever-present specter of death and the dread of what was to come. As such, the film was extremely moving. It’s also extremely well done and the reverse aging of Brad Pitt was impressive.

However, the movie was disappointing as well. I expected the story to touch more on the typical Fitzgerald theme of being a stranger in a strange land, but the movie limited itself to its focus on reverse aging. The characters are also one-dimensional: Benjamin’s mother is only “the mother”, Benjamin is only “the guy who ages in reverse”, etc. Only Cate Blanchett’s character is a bit more developed.

The movie is worth seeing, but it’s not as good as most critics suggest and the Oscar buzz is undeserved.

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