the curious case of benjamin button analysis

Summary: (470) The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is about a boy who was born prematurely old and aged backwards. The movie started off in a present setting in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina with an elderly dying woman named Daisy Williams and her daughter, Caroline. Daisy told Caroline to read Benjamin Button’s diary; her old friend and first love. As Caroline started to read, the scene flashed back to the early nineteen hundreds to Benjamin’s birth. He was born on the day World War One ended and his mother passed while giving birth to him.

The doctor examined the new born baby and states that he was suffering from a number of illnesses that an elder would normally have and predicted that the baby would not survive long. After seeing his strange condition, his father abandoned him on a stranger’s porch. A black woman who runs a retirement home, Queenie, discovered Benjamin and raised him. As several years passed, Benjamin met Daisy at the retirement home party and instantly fell in love with her. They became good friends and spent a lot of time together.

However, since Benjamin had the appearance of an old man and the elders in the house were unaware of his backwards aging condition, they did not find this acceptable and inappropriate. As more years passed, Daisy and Benjamin always kept in touch even though they went different paths. Benjamin went on to work on a tugboat and Daisy grew a passion for dance and became a ballet dancer. Even though they were separated, they never forgot each other and remained in love. They were able to meet and lived with each other when they were both in their forties, except this time, Benjamin looked about the same age as Daisy.

They spent all day and all night together and she soon became pregnant with his baby. He became very worried the child would turn out like him and he would have to raise and take care of Daisy and the child while he was becoming younger. Shortly after the baby is born, Benjamin left Daisy and traveled the world working different jobs, while she remarried and raised her child with her new family. They met again when Daisy was around sixty and Benjamin had the appearance of a teen.

They still had a burning love for each other and several years later, Benjamin was found in an abandoned building, suffering from dementia. Daisy now in her seventies, looked after him as would a loving grandmother and Benjamin slowly shrank to the size of a baby and passed on. The scene flashed back forward to the present, with Caroline finished with the diary. She discovered that Benjamin was actually her real father and Daisy, now at peace by explaining everything to her daughter through the diary, died. Reason I Liked the Film: (321)

I enjoy movies with romance, but all the romantic movies have become very cliche. I liked this film a lot since it had a little bit of a twist. In most romance movies, it is easy to predict what the outcome would be, but this movie had me curious about what might happen next. Even though I knew Benjamin was aging backwards, it still got me every time a new scene would come up with him looking younger. I also liked how most of the movie was a flashback. It reminded me of movies like The Notebook and Titanic, which are some other movies that I loved.

Also, Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett are both amazing actors and played their roles very well. I think Brad Pitt does an amazing job in all of his movies. The special and visual effects were done great as well and they deserved that Oscar in 2009. It was really cool to see Brad Pitt as a old and wrinkly man and even as a young boy in his late teens. The tone of the movie was very sad and gloomy and the storyline was very sorrowful as well, yet there were a few comical characters that made the movie a little amusing. I mostly like this film because of the character Benjamin.

Although I was not marveled by his character until towards the end of the film, I was rooting for him the entire time and grew sympathy for him. With the mind of a growing boy and trapped in a backwards aging body must have been very hard. No one understood Benjamin’s condition and looked at him as a strange man except for Daisy. This film really shows that a person does not need the entire world to accept into society to survive. All one needs is a few or even one person to love them for who they truly are deep inside. Classicalism: (384)

This film is a mixture of both realism and formalism. 1) This movie is partially realism because it gave a sense of reality in the film. It shows elements such as death, nature and war. The beginning of the film is of Daisy as an old woman on her death bed and her daughter by her side. Another portrayal of death is when the blind man’s son went off to war and never made it back home alive. Daisy and her daughter Caroline are in a hospital in New Orleans while Hurricane Katrina was hitting. Lastly, the first flashback was the day World War One ended and people on the streets celebrating.

These three elements give the audience a sense of reality because events such as Hurricane Katrina and WWI actually happened. 2) The director used high and low angle shots to tell the audience what to think of the character or situation. In the beginning of the film, there was a use of high angled shots on Benjamin to show that he was very weak and powerless. The director was doing this to tell the audience what think of Benjamin and that we should feel sympathy for Benjamin. Low angle shots were used on Queenie in the beginning of the film to show a sense of power.

In this case, the low angle shots were used to show a positive effect. Queenie was kind and took care of Benjamin as a mother would a son and she had power and a responsibility over him. High angle shots were also used on Benjamin occasionally to show his growth and development and tell the audience that he is getting stronger. 3) There are signs of formalism through the use of lighting and sound as well. When Daisy and Catherine are in the hospital, there is a use of artificial lighting coming in through the window.

It gives the room a grayish color to show that there is a storm outside and Hurricane Katrina is nearby. As for sound, there were thunderstorm sounds and police car and ambulance sirens in the background. Also, when Daisy and Benjamin are on the boat, there was a use of artificial fog to make it look like it was very early in the morning and they were out at sea. Closed Form: (309) 1) The first example for why this movie is in closed for is because the camera is anticipating all the actions. Whenever something was about to happen, the camera would pan to that moment.

Or when someone was about to enter, the camera would let us know that character would be entering. There were no unexpected surprises popping into the frame. 2) Secondly, everything that is happening inside the frame is all that is important. Most of the movie is through Benjamin’s experience growing up and that is all that is revealed. There is no sense of an outside world beyond Benjamin’s own life. It is extremely obvious in the beginning of the film when he is still young and is stuck in the retirement home all the time.

He is disconnected from the outside world and only knows the people who live with him in the retirement home. Even towards the end of the film, not many other characters are introduced and the story is mostly centered on him. The camera is continuously following Benjamin and always will. 3) Lastly, there is a lack of nature. Most of the shots are filmed indoors. Some of the outdoor shots are mostly in the dark where the sky cannot be seen and it gives the audience a sense of being trapped. Even when Benjamin is out at sea on the tugboat, an artificial setting is used.

Also, there is a lot of fog being used to cover the sky and space around them, so it’s hard to see the sky and the vast ocean around them. If this were open form, the audience would be able to see the entire ocean around them for miles. The fog around Benjamin also portrays a sense of being trapped in his own world and not being able to go beyond his own life. Soundtrack: (151) Music is used a lot in this film; almost the entire time. The music never failed to heighten my emotions. Certain songs gave me mixed emotions as did the movie.

They had a mixture of cheerful, yet slighty sorrowful tones to them. If it were not for the music, I do not think I would have been able to follow the movie as well since it was so long. Some of the songs gave me a sense of curiosity as to what would happen next and kept the movie going. This movie was nominated for best music Oscar in 2009. There were a little more than forty songs in the movie and they all fit in very well. All the songs matched up to the time frame of the movie and the scenes. Throughout the film, the music kept reminding me of Benjamin’s backwards aging and kept me rooting for him.

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