Benjamin Button long, spans several movie genres

Regina Budden

Is this movie a romance? Is it a drama? Is it just a poignant reminder of how precious life is? You’re in luck: it’s long enough to be all three.

The movie is a reading of the diary of Benjamin Button, the man who is a medical anomaly in that he ages in reverse. The beginning is a tribute to both Brad Pitt’s acting abilities and the crew that put together the effects used to age him into the old young Benjamin Button. He seems a long time growing up, but it is made tolerable by the curiosity of his living life backwards. Benjamin’s relationship with Daisy, a childhood friend-turned-lover, (played by Cate Blanchett) is long in development, amid visits to brothels, life lessons, careers, and other romances.

Once they finally acknowledge their connection, however, the story loses its intensity and passion. They seem perfectly happy together, but the majority of their conversations focus on Benjamin’s condition. When Daisy becomes pregnant, he is even more concerned than ever that she will be raising two children instead of one as he continues to get younger and younger. Their relationship is an admirable attempt to explore the essence of a love that can surpass the obvious physical challenges presented by Benjamin’s condition.

With a few intermittent stabs of humor (Did I ever tell you I was struck by lightening seven times?), the movie is laboriously drawn out to almost three hours. If you plan on attending a showing, be prepared for the pointless side-plots that accompany an otherwise charming film. At least you can be left with a small ray of sunshine: the ending has a slightly romantic redemption.