Movie Review: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Why Brad Pitt Must Die)
The family was back in Manila to catch the tail-end of the last Metro Manila Film Festival. I personally wanted to catch “Baler,” directed by my erstwhile Tae-Kwon-Do professor-and-now-camera-café-master-award-winning-director Mark Meily. (catch an interview I did with him not-too-long-ago… http://golangco.blogspot.com/2007/12/marked-man.html )
Obviously, the wifey wanted to catch Bosing Vic in “Iskul Bukol: 20 Years After.” So did I at first. However, after catching so many online synopses of the movie, it was concluded that the movie had very little to do with the TV sitcom classic save for the cast and the characters’ names. And I really was (pardon the pun) curious about the Benjamin Button movie.
So I successfully convince the wifey that our time would be better spent on the critically acclaimed Pitt-Blanchett movie.
Now on to this very delayed review!
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My first encounter with the concept of a man that lived backwards was when my buddy Dick (that’s really his name) loaned me a copy of “Bearing an Hourglass” by Piers Anthony last 1984 (or was it ’85?), the installment of his “Incarnations of Immortality” series that featured the incarnation of time.
So I was only mildly amused at the premise of a man who lived in reverse. I was of course curious (there’s that word again…) as to how the relationships were handled. “Button” was a love story, after all, unlike “Hourglass” which was about some guy learning to be a rather lame god-like thingie…
Mr. Pitt (can I call you Brad, Brad?) stars as the eponymous Benjamin Button who was born a tiny old man near death, then left by his horrified father at the doorstep of a nursing home. There, as a young toddler/old man, he met the young version of Cate Blanchett and kicked off one of those “childhood sweetheart” thingies. Pretty soon, Mr. Pitt grew up (?) to become a strapping young man (to quote my wife: “…mukha na siyang Brad Pitt!”), who was apparently being stalked by the very same father who left him for dead. This is where we (conveniently) learn that Mr. Pitt’s Mr. Button character was named “Button,” because the man who sired him made a killing making buttons. And he wants Mr. Pitt a.k.a. Mr. Button Jr. to inherit his business, his real estate, and everything else.
One day, Mr. Pitt (really, can I call you Brad, Brad?) runs into Cate Blanchett, who is now a beautiful young lady working as an in-demand ballet dancer. Obviously, they hit off and we are treated to a few minutes of genuine mush, until they find Blanchett preggers. Brad then decides that he has to run off, because he doesn’t want to burden Blanchett with having to raise two children instead of one.
Blanchett eventually remarries, and Brad is found by the Police (or was it Social Welfare?) as a little toddler unable to identify anyone.
The story ends with Blanchett caring for what’s left of Brad until he has ultimately regressed into a tiny infant and dies.
The plot is actually very simple. What made the movie interesting was the wonderful chemistry between Pitt and Blanchett. Blanchett is regal, thoughtful and beautiful, while Pitt shows the world that he can take a character’s entire life in various stages and ages, and inject a full spectrum of subtle emotions and nuance. A lot of solid talent in there. So while the wifey was drooling over Mr. Pitt, I found myself astonished at the depth this pretty boy managed to show through the entire movie.
It isn’t fair for Brad to be so talented in a physical existence I used to only read about in comic books. Mousey heterosexual little Asian nerds like yours truly usually comfort ourselves in the face such talent by highlighting certain “negative” aspects (e.g. “Ricky Martin HAS to be gay, because he had to have children through a surrogate.” or “Brad Pitt is rumored to have a bad case of body odour…” and other similar quips.) Apparently, when they said God created all things equal, they forgot to count Mr. Pitt.
So after witnessing the wonderful movie that is “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” I hereby declare for the sake of fairness in heterosexual mankind that: Brad Pitt must die.