Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - or several sentences on Viagra

Completely in the spirit of my expectations the probably most anticipated premiere for the winter turned out to be just the next disappointment. I've been always surprised at the abilities of some people to tell short and not especially full of matter stories for extremely long time. If a story encompasses a whole human life, is it absolutely necessary to tell it over the same time span?

After 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button' I'm absolutely sure that the redundant accents on the completely uninteresting daily routine of the main character are no longer trademark of the untalented, working with low funding, inexplainably pretentious 'artists', who think that a three hours long scene, depicting a hay chewing cow, is the ultimate form of cinematographic art.

'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button' is based on several sentences (including the title) of an otherwise good short story, stuffed with Viagra (yes, it does go on for hours), and turned by Eric Roth into a FrankenForestGump, completely devoid of the humour, the solid content and the wonderful special effects of the original he wrote and Robert Zemeckis directed.

The commonality with the 1921 short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald is quite bleak and unpersuasive and I can't help but wonder why. Even the main concept of a rejuvenating person is twisted (again, why?) - in the short story Benjamin Button (depicted by Brad Pitt) is born physically and mentally developed as an old man (he can speak barely a few hours after being born) and his rejuvenation is also both physical and mental. In the movie he is born with an old man's body, reminding the one of the master jedi Yoda, and with the mental development of a new-born, and only is getting younger. And that's it. If the sight of a rejuvenating Brad Pitt riding a bike is enough to keep you almost for three hours in the theater - this movie is for you. I was expecting (probably for the last time) something more of David Fincher and Co.

To conclude: visually appealing, but annoyingly and groundlessly dragging and overextended. The acceptable acting of Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett is held hostage by the weak screenplay, based on the F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story barely enough to pass as an adaptation. The movie is filled to the brim with horribly pointless and stereotypic dialogue and lacks any hook or at least some attempt for a plausible character development. On top of that there is an irritating nasal overacted voiceover. Instead of watching something that doesn't contain anything you haven't seen before, just read the story again.
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1 comment:

  1. Cate Blanchett with a southern accent FTW; but Benjamin Button kept dragging on, always pausing dramatically on Brad Pitt's face, a lot like Meet Joe Black, FTL

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