The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett star in the tale of a man who grows younger. Based on a 1922 short story by F Scott Fitzgerald, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button probably should have been re-named The Curiously Dull Case Of Brad Pitt’s Face. Though there’s no denying that there’s some impressive and subtle CGI at work here, the plot is oddly dull, and at 2 hours 40 minutes, this is one backwards life that really drags.
Brad Pitt plays Button, a rather dull fellow born in New Orleans just after the end of the first world war who lives until his late 80s. The weird thing is that he emerges from the womb a tiny shrivelled old man and gets younger and younger until he becomes- hey!- Brad Pitt. Then he dwindles to a boy, a baby, and eventually winks out of existence. The lynch-pin of his life is that from his birth (death?) Button’s path crosses with that of Daisy – a clear-eyed, auburn-haired little girl with whom he has a (quite weird) connection. The pseudo-paedophilia in Button is not dissimilar to that of The Time Traveler’s Wife, and in both cases you feel as though the teams have just shrugged off the entire idea and plowed on regardless. Fair enough, we suppose, but it still leaves you feeling a little odd about the whole thing.
The young girl grows up to be a lovely looking Cate Blanchett, and as she grows older he gets younger and younger. They have a brief, passionate love affair, before the contra-flow of time takes them away from each other. It should be tragic, but in fact the whole thing is oddly dull. Brad, who has shone in so many roles in the past, has all the charisma of the button in his character’s title, and with such a long running time the dragging story of an entire life seems to go on and on.
Kudos has to go to the technical team, who manage to create an entire life-span’s worth of faces for both Blanchett and Pitt, all of which look very believable, if at times very creepy. All in all though, this is a prettily shot, gently moving snooze, which is only worth your time if – like Benjamin – you have a lot of it on your hands.
The Curious Birth of Benjamin Button