Thursday, March 5, 2009

Curious About Mr. Button

it is so sad. and wonderful.

it is about time.
and death.
things that last. and things that fade away.
unconditional love.
ageless love.
timeless love.

i just finished watching 'the curious case of benjamin button' just seconds ago, and could not help switching on my notebook to jot down my thoughts - pardon my insipid words tonight - for i wish to etch any thoughts i have and immediate emotions the movie had affect me, while it is still fresh in my memory.

did you cry watching the movie?
interesting to note that the only two times that i cried during the movie was the very first few minutes into the movie, and the few minutes before it ends.

it was when a father found his newborn so grotesque, that he had to get rid of it, so ferociously full of hatred, humiliation and disappointment of his own flesh and blood - and to think that a young unmarried woman of another color - had a bigger place in her heart for that child, and took him into her care instead.

and it was when love had endured time - a woman needs only to be with the man she loves, to be by his side - in sickness and in health in the truest sense - that man, who could not even say her name, let alone remember who she was, and what they had gone through together. that man, who needs taking care of, when she herself aged.

i can still see the look of absolute content and relief, as young benjamin button, all snug like a bug in a rug, in the arms of the woman who truly loves him, closes his eyes, and passes from this world.

i have more thoughts on the movie. storyline. technical stuff. scenes. characters. the ending. mr. khairul didn't watch till the end. at the time of writing, his snores near obliterate my thoughts - so i shall stop here, while the magic of benjamin button still moves and touches me.

brad pitt
and brad...what a guy. from the sexy vampire louis, dull fbi agent in 'se7en' to the madman in 'twelve monkeys'. then a cool lawyer in 'sleepers', a rough tough psycho tyler durden in 'fight club' and the smart-ass conman in the 'ocean' series.

and any fan of f.r.i.e.n.d.s won't forget his memorable appearance in the show as monica and ross' very fat friend. also, he was the very reason why i never get bored watching the animated movie 'sinbad' - as he voiced the title character.

and now he placed another feather in the cap, another challenging character played so convincingly - as the man who aged backwards. benjamin button.

an incredible talent, in that incredible body.

sigh. (sorry honey! ha ha lost in my thoughts there..)

the short story
if the movie is fantastic, the short story it was adapted from should be 10 times better. this morning i read the short story by francis scott fitzgerald which inspired the movie. benjamin buttons in both the story and movie are quite different, in many ways! for starters, in the book, benjamin button could speak as soon as he was born - "are you my father?" were his first words.

while brad pitt's benjamin button is endearing and charming in his innocence, while we fell in love with his emotional journey through life, while we cheered him on, in his pursuit of happiness and while we cried heavily on his unusual demise -

the actual benjamin button in the book is far from endearing. quite loathsome, really! he was born as an actual old man, complete with white hair and grey beard. was raised by his father who insists he acts his age. he refuses to be treated like a child, playing with rattles and toy soldier only by the urging of his father - otherwise enjoys reading encylopedia and spending time chatting with his grandfather, even smokes cigar!

his love story begins as sweet and lovely as brad pitt's button's with his 'daisy' - he falls in love instantly with 'hildegarde' and adores her dearly - but after he marries, he continues to party, celebrating his youthfulness while his aging wife looks on. he slowly can't stand being seen with her and uses college and war as an excuse to be away. what a jerk!

he then attends harvard - 10 years after his own son had graduated from - has the best few years - king of football and in class - then senior year comes, when he looks 14 - cannot even play for college because of his frailty and classes seem to be getting more and more difficult.

as he goes through these challenges while getting younger and losing respect from people around him, i feel he deserves it after what he has done to his wife.

as he grows even much younger he ends up seeking pity from his own son, roscoe, who hates him - and who insists he calls him 'uncle' for fear of shame since his father looks like a little boy. he finally is sent to kindergarten with roscoe's son, but as his grandson proceeds to higher level, benjamin stays in kindergarten for 3 years, until he is taken out because he cannot seem to understand simple instructions anymore.

here, i start to pity him.

finally, his nurse, nana takes care of him, teaching simple words like 'elephant'. he can't remember anything anymore. jumping on bed excites him. it ends with a description of his 'little world' in a white crib and how everything - past memories, present life, even 'the sweet aroma of milk' slowly disappears from his mind to simply light and darkness - and then there are only darkness.

wonderful, dramatic writing. easy reading with usage of simple words and straightforward yet vivid description. give a try. it's a short story easily read in one sitting - wouldn't take more than 30 minutes of your time. click here to read!

well, one thing that is certainly similar - both ending brings tears to my eyes! call me weird but i gotta switch on f.r.i.en.d.s 'the one with the rumor' so that i can see brad pitt in a happy mode.

tsk! tsk!

1 comment:

Fauziah said...

will definitely watch it

check out these postings too!

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