The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) - M6.6/E7

My wife very rarely cares what movies we end up watching, I’m generally the one that picks them out. She surprised me by bringing this one home from the library. I was semi-intrigued about it when I saw it released, but never had any strong urge to see it. While not an amazing movie, the almost 3 hour feature was enjoyable. It really is nothing more than a story about the life of a man. He doesn’t affect the history of the world in any remarkable way, but the fact that he lives his life backwards from an old man until he dies as a baby is a pretty cool experience to be a part of.

Not living a normal life, it’s hard to pin any moral message on anything literal presented in the movie. There is adultery and prostitution, co-habitation, and family desertion - and while not condoned in real life, they add an interesting element to the story.  The reason these elements don't necessarily create a negative moral message is that the story isn't saying this is how happy people live their lives.  Benjamin was never really happy; he was so confused with his situation in life (as were those around him) that he never really fit in anywhere.  His happiest moment was when he met up in the middle with Daisy and was able to experience a  portion of a normal life.

While initially despised by his father as a monster, his father doesn’t completely give up on him and eventually we see their relationship grow stronger (appropriately backwards) and father and son are brought close together. As an old man, though really a child, he works with a bunch of sailors and acquires their habits and vices. As a companion (not married, but living together) he was faithful and loves Daisy. Though when he found out he was to be a father, he couldn’t bear the thought of becoming a child physically as his daughter grew older and needed a real father. Benjamin moved on and was able to do things in his old age that were impossible to do in his arthritic youth. What was really moving was to see him as a boy in his old age, senile and in need of assistance, only to be found by his childhood friend and lover who cared for him until he passed on.

While not a must-see, if you come across this movie and aren't looking for something fast-paced, this is worth watching at least once.

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