I'm sorry, Max.
Finally revisiting this five years later, I noticed that it, like its characters and setting was already taking on signs of age; the quasi-groundbreaking at the time, ridiculously plastic-y now old man Button effects obviously being the prime example. And yet instead of cringing at the limits of its brief innovation, I thought to myself "how perfect?"
My advice to anyone who saw this film and felt that it was too 'mainstream' or 'not dark enough' for the man who brought us "Seven": live your life. Fall in love; have your heart broken; lose someone you care about; watch the lines appear on your face. Then return to "Benjamin Button" and I'm willing to bet that your perspective will change on a second viewing. Such was the case for me, as I found "Button" to be David Fincher's most profoundly tender and melancholy work to date. In fact, the creative give-and-take between the screenplay's unabashed sentimentality and Fincher's typically clinical and detached style is a large part of what makes the film so compelling. There are moments here that stir up an incredible wealth of emotion: "I was thinking how nothing lasts...and what a shame that is." Not a film for the cynics.
And then we have Benjamin Button. I can't believe in the cinematic evolution of Fincher. Shot after shot after shot, this is deep sense and notion of what cinema can achieve. Beautifully and unpretentiously filmed; simple and humble storytelling, showing us the time passing by, the places staying, people going away. Life is violent but violence is this.
In terms of bloated story telling, it's Fincher trying to out do Peter Jackson's KING KONG.
"Every second of Benjamin Button, every shot and every cut, every gesture and every facial expression, every turn in its narrative and every visual effect, is devoted to the contemplation of time’s passing. Of course, that is the theme of Eric Roth’s screenplay, an epic embellishment of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wisp of a story about a man who is born old and grows young, displaced from Baltimore to New Orleans and shifted ahead fifty years in time. And it is easy to imagine the film directed by someone else, anyone else apart from Fincher, and made into a poignant love story about two people who “meet in the middle,” set against the backdrop of the American century. I’ve read many descriptions of this phantom movie, Roth’s script as directed by Ron Howard or Nora Ephron. They are very far from the mysterious and troubling film Fincher has actually made... The picaresque/kaleidoscopic strategy of the script might be familiar to viewers of Forrest Gump, also written by Roth. But Benjamin Button finally moves in a very different direction. Fincher never allows us anything more, or less, than glimpses, distilled into visions. That NASA liftoff stays on-screen just long enough to register before the director cuts away to another incremental but palpable step forward in time, and it is ephemeral (a brilliant streak of white light traced across a bright blue sky) more than iconic. It is also evocative of earlier streaks of light, sent by artillery fire in World War II and machine-gun fire in World War I, both flashing just as quickly—yet harrowingly—before our eyes. And Benjamin’s." -Kent Jones
One's difference as nothing but is certainly central to 'Benjamin' as allegory of the disempowered (minorities, the geriatric and the disenfranchised), yet what's most humanly interesting is how Button's spacial immersion with death is engrained as matter-of-fact, and what terrifies him most is exactly the opposite of those living a 'conventional' life: birth. His 'brother' and his own child strike great fear.
the essence of the film is based only on the eternal desire of human beings. when we are small, we want to achieve more rapidly the end (I always said. "I wish I could be eighteen years") ... but will as time passes, we want to delay as much as possible, the end - we want to be under eighteen. and I think Fincher wants to show us that!
When it comes to love, whether you're an old man and a little girl, a couple of 40 years old lovers, an old lady and a young man, or even a granny and a baby boy, it exists if he/she is the one. Just like it's tagline "Life isn't measured in minutes, but in moments" My favorite part is Button's monologue (and of course the scene) about destiny (the morning on Daisy's accident). Super! Fincher!