Voted Sexiest Old Guy In A Film at Cannes!
First things first…I really enjoyed watching this film. There’s lots to like about it. Great performances by everyone, it’s well written, it’s got good editing and a fine soundtrack. There isn’t a lot of bad about it other than 2 obvious things…
First…it’s too long. At 3 hours, I found myself squirming a bit in the middle section. Not a lot, just a bit. And the length of it brought to mind “thing” #2…
I’ve seen it before. This movie is a combination of 2 movies (that I couldn’t get out of my mind the entire time I was watching): Titanic & Forest Gump. Not that that is a bad thing. Because if you’re gonna steal from other movies, ya might as well steal from a couple of great ones! But as it went on and on, all I could think about was the elderly woman’s narrative in “Titanic” as she talked about Jack & how the ship went down and some of the scenes from Forest Gump that this film has been compared too (and rightfully so).
Based on a 1922 short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the film follows Benjamin Button as he ages from old to young. With today’s technology, the aging process is done without any side effects. You can watch the film, see Brad Pitt’s face on an 80-year old man’s body and actually believe that it is him. And to see him as a teenager is also quite a surprise. Smooth skin and tussled hair. It’s like you are seeing him 20 years ago! So the technical aspects of the film (mostly with character’s getting older as Benjamin ages) is really spectacular!
The story itself is a typical tearjerker. It’s a simple storyline which basically is “Enjoy your life and every moment of it, because you never know when it might end”. Pretty simple, right? The only problem with this is that all we really ever see is Benjamin’s highlights. That’s the problem with a movie that follows an entire life story. I just never felt the urgency of Benjamin’s plight. No matter if you’re growing old or young or whatever, there is so much life to be had that to compress it down into 3 hours still isn’t enough to see everything that makes a person who he or she really is. Not that that deters the film, but it was in the recesses of my mind.
So anyway, this movie is good enough entertainment. I enjoyed it and can say I saw it. But I doubt I will ever have another 3 hours to watch it again. Cate Blanchett is wonderful as the love interest and the rest of the cast is great. But the film lacks something fresh. It feels done before. And that is my only true problem with it. But for those of you who enjoy a good tearjerker…then this won’t disappoint!
Overall Rating: B