Saturday, 14 February 2009


IF this was the film version of Extreme Makeover then it would certainly score five out of five.

Unfortunately, this is meant to be a serious and compelling drama about a man, who instead of growing older, grows younger by the years.

The problem with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is not the acting, direction or even the sentimental script. In fact, all three are reasonably executed. The problem is the concept.

It is hard to buy into a story about a child born old, abandoned by his father and bought up in a old peoples' home.

It is even harder to buy into the relationship between Button (Brad Pitt) and Daisy (Cate Blanchett) who struggle to find a time where their relationship can exist without one of them being arrested.

At times, it feels like writer Eric Roth (Forest Gump), wants to squeeze as much emotion out of the audience as he can racking up around ten deaths in the first 90mins.

There is very little humour, in fact none at all, and while Roth’s Gump lived an exciting and endearing life, Button’s is simply dull as dishwater.

A brief spell in the Navy and the inheritance of a button factory, the only really unique quality about Button is, yes, you’ve got it, he keeps getting younger.

In fact, throughout the tiresomely long 166min film, no one seems to pull Button to one side and say: ‘Look mate, what’s this all about? You’re getting younger.’ Instead, it becomes fully accepted by everyone as if his condition was as common as measles.

And it seems as if director David Fincher (Se7en, Zodiac and The Game) left his dark side on the pillow when he went to work on this sentimental piece of drivel. In fact, it is hard to understand what drew him to this particular project in the first place.

But, for me, there was one defining moment when I realised Button was not going to pull at my heartstrings, or even gently flick them for that matter.

It is a moment when Button and Daisy are lying together in bed. Daisy says to Button: “Will you still love me when my skin goes saggy?” Button replies: “Will you still love me when I wet the bed?”

This is one ridiculously absurd movie, totally unworthy of the 13 Oscars it has been nominated for. And if this is the best film Hollywood’s got on offer, then maybe Extreme Makeover the movie isn’t such a bad idea.

Rating: *

No comments: