I am quite fussy with my cinema viewing but have seen some really good films lately, Slumdog being one of them. So when my friend said, “lets go see Benjamin Button” I should have stuck to my gut instinct, which was:
A film about Brad Pitt starting out as an old, arthritic foetus and finishing his life as a baby – in between meeting the love of his life, (the only problem being they are aging in reverse) = Brad Pitt saying some moving lines, slowing down his speaking more than usual to emphasise the profoundity of what he says so we all think,
There was a great deal more squeezed into to it than that. In fact, there was far too much. Half an hour into the film and my mind started to drift completely as I could not stand the sound of the old woman who was dying yet narrating. It was painful to listen.
Then there was Brad, whom I knew I was not going to enjoy as soon as he started to say the words “mah name is Benjamin, Benjamin Button” said in a lazy Southern drawl. Anna Prickard describes this as his “half-man-half goat” voice which I would say is spot on.
His acting was stiff and my friend Sarah pointed out to me after the film finished, he was trying to be Forest Gump but the problem was the tragedy of his situation of starting out life as a wrinkly little ugly old thing just did not seem a tragedy. In Forest Gump, Tom Hanks was brilliant in making you feel a part of what he went through and really did make you feel empathy for the character through his journey. But not so with Benjamin. I did not feel sorry for him. I wanted him to hurry up and get young so I could work out how much longer we had left to endure the film.
I think David Fincher should stick to films live ‘Seven’ and ‘Fight Club’ and not bother with the ‘life and fate’ type stuff as others have done it better. I suppose one thing good came from it and that was a confirmation to not waste time.
13 Oscar nominations. Are they mad?!