27 January 2009

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Hmm...well after that not so subtle hint to hurry up and review...

I don't really think I can say that recent film of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button 'butchered' the original short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, seeing as the title is about all the story and the movie have in common. In the story, Benjamin Button is born like a baby-sized 70 year old man, a few hours after birth he is able to speak, and prefers hanging out with his grandfather to spending time with children his own age. Even this basic premise is changed in the film - Benjamin is an (almost) ordinary baby born in an aged body, but his mental age is still that of a newborn. You can see immediately why this was changed in the film - the story of the friendship/romance between Benjamin and Daisy would have been kind of creepy had it been between a young girl and an actual old man. Instead he is the same age as her mentally, and its just a matter of their bodies meeting in the middle, so to speak.
Which, quite frankly, is weird enough.
Added to this major, MAJOR change, book Benjamin's life bears no resemblance to film Benjamin's life; for starters they are living about 50 years apart. Book Ben lives with his proud father, film Ben is abandoned and brought up in an old peoples home...you get the idea.
And the thing is, I didn't think that the changes necessarily made for a good film. I was a bit shocked when the film got its million Oscar nominations or whatever, I mean a few would be understandable but I'll be honest, I thought the film was way, way, way too long, unnecessarily complicated, and boring. There I said it. The telling of the story through old Daisy was unnecessary and whenever we went to the hospital in present time I was all 'Lets get back to the real story okay?' All in all, the film had none of the cool edginess, the slight darkness that F. Scott is so good at bringing. Because its not really a film of the story. Not at all.
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