This is a review on both the original book and the movie, so please be ready to read. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was originally a short story, so naturally, artistic liberties can be taken easily for the adaptation. But lo, how much liberty did they take! The title should have been Benjamin Button 2000, for how much they changed in the story. I will not apologize for being a plebian here, as I actually believe they improved the tale.
To start, Benjamin Button was born as an old man, and died an infant. Alas, the original author wrote as if time never changed, as Benjamin unaged. Technology did not change, neither did fashion, nor did dialect or status. The book had him raised as a gentleman, in the late 1800s, and die as a gentleman in the late 1800s. His wife had three children, and he became playmates with them, as he turned younger. Basically, everything that the characters in the movie feared would happen happened.
The film brought flavor to everything, as it took us through the journey of Benjamin Button and his girlfriend/fiance/wife/ex-wife, Daisy, living throughout the twentieth century, meeting and missing, and loving and losing a piece of each other, in what relationship they can have with his special condition – through a journal, read by their daughter, beside the death bed of the withering Daisy…
The film was powerful and inspiring, as oppose to the quick chapter of a life Benjamin Button had experienced as a Gentleman-Dandy. I feel as though that the concept in itself is worthwhile, as it is an unlikely story indeed, and hard to adapt to be relatable. But the strangeness of it can be improved, and I’m sure it has been done before, but not enough to be common. So, if anything, I can only recommend both the book and movie for it’s rarity – in theme and in popularity. I hope this can be an occult someday, as it would be a pity to lose this to the archived alone, yet I wouldn’t blame anyone for not remembering this unmemorable story of aging gone amiss.