The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (2008)

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IMDb

back in time

David Fincher is a worthy mind. From previous adventures i knew he cares about form, about the shape of his films, about creating a structure, coherent with the intended narrative. With Seven, Fight Club and Zodiac, i felt that structure existed before the narrative line was leaked into it. That is his playground, and it is interesting because there is more to his films than the structure which support them. So we have visual ideas, that convey emotional intentions.

Here he tries something new. Well, he still is worried about making a solid structure in which to insert the story. In fact this is his longest form, not so much for the time the film lasts, but for the kind of development in takes. A film that follows a lifetime has to be one of the most difficult things to do in cinema. Why is that? Because that kind of story is totally rooted in literature, not in cinema. It’s hard to compress one’s emotional evolution over a lifetime into images. Literature has the ability to create instant channels to one’s mind. You try to do that in film, and it’s usually a disaster. That’s why it’s so hard to find good films that convey biographies (the so called biopic).

Having said this, i think this film is successful because it deals with the disadvantages i referred above. It deals with avoiding the predictabilities, the laziness and consequent failure of placing words as the subtitles for uninteresting images. It’s not a perfect film and there is yet to come (or at least i haven’t seen) a film that depicts one’s lifetime and changes my life.

Here there is one beautiful concept that makes it for me. This is a love story, all right. But it deals with time and space as adversities for the lovers to meet. It’s a matter of two people who have to fight to find their own common space, the conditions to be together, whether fighting against war or social prejudice (the Titanic model). But, much more interesting, fighting for the right time. The opposite life lines (one getting older, the other getting younger) allow this. For a few years, for a certain period in time, the lovers are allowed to share their love. What a beautiful idea, that a couple has to live in proximity without touching, knowing all the way that they are seeing the love of their lives and yet they have to wait for the right time to come, and than having the courage to separate again. That’s the heart breaking idea that moves this Benjamin Button. Fincher had never made such a film, so based on conveying emotions, a film built with a clear structure which we can discard because what matters is what’s inside it. In his other films, structure and content were one.

This is a love story, remarkable, sensitive tail, that shows in an anti-romantic time. Maybe that’s why it grasps the sympathy of the audience so much. Winds of change? Reversed time?

My opinion: 3/5

This comment on IMDb

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