Friday, March 26, 2010

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

I watched the video version of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button some weeks ago.
As a movie it is moderately entertaining and visually impressive but certainly not encaptivating. It is of excessively long duration. However much of it, even allowing for poetic licence, is implausible.

Essentially the film is about time.Its key theme is the ageing process and the way this process is a real concrete influence on the lives of people. The film drew our attention to age and the relationship between the different generations. In this way it somewhat challenges our minds concerning the matter of age and even ageism. Notwithstanding the ageism that exists in today’s world the film brings out the hard fact that age does, in a sense, get in the way. It does this by showing how Benjamin’s physical evolution from a man into a boy and later a baby cannot be a “proper” father to his child –nor "proper" lover to his female partner. Again his birth in the form of an old man in the form of a new born baby obstructs his relationships with his peer group. The reversal of the aging process in Benjamin seriously and inevitably influences his relationships with other people. This is a fact that would obtain under all social conditions. And this is because age matters in the relationship between individuals from different generations whether under capitalism or communism. However under capitalism the age question is more pronounced. And ageism under capitalism is a real and oppressive issue.

Other than that there is little more that I can say about this film. Perhaps the short story, on which the movie is loosely based and which I have not read, is more comprehensive and interesting. Surprisingly I discovered that at least one film critic suggested that this movie resembles the Forest Gump movie --because, while watching it, I had drawn a similar conclusion.