I have no other compelling reason for this very first movie that I watched for you, other than I must catch up. The countdown started last Saturday, and if we are to meet the 500-movies- by-March 31 deadline – that means 5 movies a week, and so I am 5 movies behind.
So I switched on HBO and watched the first movie that came on. That is not entirely a bad idea, you know. I came across two of my now all-time favourite films this way (Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz).
It was the The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Right off the bat, I’d have to tell you that I am biased towards liking this movie, since it’s by one of my favorite directors (David Fincher) based on a short story by one of my favorite writers (F. Scott Fitzgerald).
Like many of the best stories, this movie is about the redeeming and transforming power of love. From the moment of his birth, Benjamin Button, despite his unusual condition (aging backwards, and therefore being born looking a horrible, decaying old man) was surrounded by an unconditional and accepting sort of love.
From his adoptive mother Queenie, to his childhood playmate Daisy (who would become the love of his life), to his piano mentor, to his first employer, to the tugboat captain, and many, many others.
It’s also a meditation on how it is to live on borrowed time. One has to love completely and live fully. And, one also has to learn how to wait. Because, the movie says, life has a way of putting everything in its place at the best possible time. “We finally meet in the middle,” Daisy says.
And finally, this movie tells us — despite the ephemeral of nature of life, there are some things that do last.
Like the real kind of love. Love that compels people to teach you how to play music, or share with you a Shakespearean quote, or engage you in an intimate conversation in the middle of the night. The kind of love that sees you, with your wrinkly skin, thinning gray hair, and arthritis — in your worst possible state — and still manage to look at you, like you are the most beautiful person in the world.
My Only Complaint:
Watching the movie, I couldn’t shake off the feeling that I’d seen this story before. The Southern setting, the doting mother with the one-liner words of wisdom, the childhood sweetheart, the time served in war, time spent on a boat. Forrest Gump.
“Some Things Do Last.”
The juncture where Benjamin and Daisy meet each other and realize that their aging process has shown signs of reverse. Daisy is middle-aged and Benjamin is a smoking-hot young man. The Brad Pitt of the Thelma and Louise days. I distinctly remember how it drew a collective gasp from among the women in the movie theater.
It’s thoroughly enjoyable and touching, even if it is a rehash of Forrest Gump . There are worst things to be.