I, as a conscious human being, have a deep-seated fear of dying. Nobody really knows what happens when we die and I have an even deeper-seated fear of the unknown. So, you know, it’s a real fun existence. As someone that has such fears, you would assume I’d hate to be reminded of these things, but no, I love questioning existence and death. My favorite way to do this questioning is by watching movies relating to such ideas. I could go on and on about movies that send me into an existential crisis (there are more than I care to count), but I’ll focus on one in particular that made me go crazy.
David Fincher’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is boring, to say the least. The idea is great; a dude that ages backward? Sign me up! But something about the movie is wrong. Maybe it’s Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett’s bland acting (from now on we should refer to them as Bland Pitt and Cate Blandchett), or maybe it was the boring score. But either way, I spent 90% of my viewing wishing it was over. This disappoints me greatly, being as I have an infatuation with Fitzgerald’s stories and Fincher’s films. Although it was bad, it did indeed send me into an existential spiral.
There is a scene within the movie in which a woman is cutting Benjamin’s (Pitt) hair. He is still an “old man,” only seven or so years old. She mentions the fact that because he is aging in reverse, Benjamin will, in turn, see everyone he loves die. I had to pause the movie at this point because, excuse me, what? I laughed a little, but I was still struck with that “oh my god” feeling. I may not be aging in reverse, but everyone I love will eventually die. That sucks. As I continued watching, I noticed the people in Benjamin’s life and how they died. That was probably the only aspect of the movie that was good; the relationships that Benjamin builds throughout are beautiful and well developed, and then they’re destroyed. But such is life, right?
Now that I have finished The Curious Case of Benjamin Button in its entirety and have sat for twelve hours thinking about it, I still think it’s awful. It sure had great cinematography and a few good lines, but everything else was absolutely excruciating. Maybe that was the point, though, to make you feel bored as heck but then remind you that your life is fleeting. If so, it did a darn good job because I’ve been a walking, talking existential ball of fear for the past twenty-four hours. So, uh, it’s been a normal day I guess.
*Image from Amazon