Friday, September 9, 2011

Curious About "The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons"

Dancer and I watched this movie last night and thought, while it was sad, it was pretty good.  After having the night to digest it we started talking about it today.  This morning we weren't too sure we liked it any more.  There were a lot of confusing parts to the movie.

We didn't understand why he would have been like a baby when he was born and then  revert back to being a baby in the end.  His life was bell shaped in that respect, young to old to young.  We also thought it was odd that he would die as a robust baby, wouldn't he keep getting younger until his lung weren't mature enough to breathe?

He seemed unmoved finding out that his mother had died, even telling Queenie that she was his real mom, and yet named his own daughter after his birth mother.

If he was 40ish when his daughter was born why would he leave then, she would be 40 when he died, what did he think he was sparing her?

When Daisy came to take care of him when he was five years old until he died, five years later, where did the daughter think she was?  And what happened to Daisy's husband?

There were also a lot of characters in the movie that weren't really subplots just filler.  The movie was two and half hours long, what was all that filler for?

We also tried to decided if the movie was about how Daisy told her daughter who her father was or was it about Benjamin Button?

The more we talked, and we had a lot more gripes about it, I said that maybe this was a book made into a movie because the story was so fragmented, which often happens to stories when they are made into movies.  I thought of Little Women with Winona Ryder, if  I didn't know the story of Little Women I would have never been able to follow that story line. 

Dancer did a little searching and sure enough, The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons is a short story written by none other than F Scott Fitzgerald.  It was first published in 1922 in Collier’s Magazine.  We found that Fitzgerald wrote it after hearing a remark made by Mark Twain: "It is a pity that the best part of life comes at the beginning, and the worst part at the end."  Rights to the story were held by Ray Stark until his death in 2004 and the movie was made in 2008.  What rights they needed from the story I am not sure.  Except for the name the movie, the name of the main character and that he ages backwards, there is not much that parallels the story.  A shame really because now that we have read the story (you can read it here) we think that the movie did a great injustice to it.  We are sad that people will think that they know the story of Benjamin Buttons and miss out on the real thing.  Leave it to Hollywood to mess up great literature again, or did we just analyze a perfectly good movie to death?

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