January 6, 2009

Through the sands of time and back: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

From the captivating pictures, the amazing details of picturesque scenery, the costumes and make-up, and the tone of the story, from the characters’ speaking voices, the narration, the music, and the language which can only be described as melodic, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button can only be summed up as a cinematographic masterpiece that takes you on a picture perfect journey through time. Set in different periods of time, from the onslaught of Hurricane Katrina back to 1918 and the end of the First World War, the movie takes you to the present and back in three hours. For me, the experience was more like watching a storybook unfold right in front of me. In many ways, this is what I imagine being caught up in fantasy must be like. It takes you away from the present and brings you in to a world far and beyond where it is, and yet it was still grounded in reality so it made perfect sense, well, except of course for the curious case of this man.

Not being a big fan of either Brad Pitt or Cate Blanchett, or of period pieces for that matter, I have to admit this movie would not have been on the top of my “Movies to See” list. However, thanks to Janine who let me be her “plus one” for the evening and to Az for organizing the movie bloggers event, I got to see this movie.

Albeit the story did not captivate me much, the visually stimulating set and details of the story were more than enough to keep me glued to the screen, despite my tiredness. To be fair, the story had a good blend of wit, humor and drama that meshed very well. The delivery of punchlines every now and then in the movie would leave the audience laughing, while poignant scenes in the film surely would touch the heart.

I must commend Cate Blanchett’s graceful performance. Her elegant movements as she portrayed Daisy, a ballerina, drew me in. The subtle changes in Brad Pitt’s performance as Benjamin at each stage was quite commendable as well. I personally enjoyed seein
g Elle Fanning on the screen as she portrayed Daisy at seven years old. Although she had a very short role in the film, seeing her made me smile, mainly because she was so cute and touching, especially in the scene under the table where she saw beneath the physical exterior of Benjamin Button. Touching indeed.

Another favorite scene of mine was towards the end, when Cate was old and Brad was very young…

photo taken from

Putting it all together, although watching a movie in the cinema costs so much more compared to a DVD, do go see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button in the big screen. Although it is almost three hours long, and it may not be the best film for 2009, it is one of the most visually beautiful films I’ve ever seen, and it would be a shame to see it only on a itty-bitty TV….unless of course you have a humongous flat screen LCD TV with high definition.

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