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A boy is born with all the features of an ancient man, and the father abandons him in panic and disgust. Yet the baby does not die, but grows to become younger and stronger every day. Benjamin, as he is called, leaves behind the retirement home where he had outlived so many, and sees the world, travelling on a tugboat through the war. He meets a British Minister’s wife and finds love for the first time, only to lose her again in the course of both of their life’s turn. Paths cross and diverge, he returns to his old home to find the girl he played with when he was a was old and she was young, it turns out to be the love of his life, and they meet on an important crossing of both their paths. Their life developments being as they are, they need to separate again, however, and re-unite only at the very end, guiding each other out of life.

The short synopsis would have been “Benjamin gets born, lives, and dies, in that order” – as soon as you start mentioning individual elements of his life, it gets extremely anecdotal, as there is no such thing as a coherent drama as a red thread through the film., Just as life, the story of Benjamin Button, his abandonment and re-discovery through his father in a brothel, love list and found, all is sometimes a bit more, a bit less exciting. That kind of life makes good production values, with designs for 8 decades needing to be designed. It lacks the thrill of a film driven by plot. This makes it nice to watch, calm in its narrative pace, but a bit pointless. There are some things that are extremely nice to watch, such as the surreal sea trips on board of the Chelsea. There are some annoying episodes, such as the some of the moments where he is crossing his girlfriend Daisy’s paths. The end of the movie is intended to be touching, but for that it is unfortunately too predictable, lacking any surprise.
There is also a framework narration, a plot about the dying moments of Daisy, allowing her to share Benjamin’s story with her daughter watching the death bed. Why that is necessary is lost on me, maybe there were subsidies for making films covering New Orleans during the Hurricane Katrina.
David Fincher is a director whose work I really appreciate. He is, however, vulnerable when being exposed to mainstream productions, and loses his touch that made Seven, Fight Club or Zodiac to become something special. This film could have been made by many – it is very solid Hollywood produce, without edge, but entertaining just as well. Of Fincher, one would expect something with a bit more teeth.

One Comment

  1. This movie was defiantly one of the best movies I’ve ever seen, and I agree with the EverHype (they’re my new favorite source for music, movie, and game reviews – check them out at review that gave it 3.75 stars and called it “Great.” I hope that Brad Pitt get’s some great reviews for this as well.

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