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The Curios Case of Benjamin Button, Term Paper Example

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Term Paper

Introduction

Fictional stories are usually created to utilize unusual events that could impose on the reality they may reflect regarding the human way of living. No matter how seemingly impossible each plot is, it could be analyzed how these elements relate closely as symbolisms that reflect certain real elements about human living. What constricts these stories however in relating the realities about life is the fact that they tend to access unrealistic realms that simply go against what is real and what is commendably realizable for many. As for the story of the Curious Case of Benjamin Button, it could be analyzed how an extreme turnaround of matters could actually create a sense of wondering to the audience and rather create a more visible implication on how time is very important for everyone. In the discussion that follows, a closer look on the story value of the plot of the Curious Case of Benjamin Button shall be explored through analysis and criticism.

Understanding the Film’s Cinematography

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is an intriguing work of film that employs different methods of narration. The film is about a person who ages in reverse, starting out life as an elderly infant with all the ailments of a dying octogenarian. However, as time passes, the boy begins to age in reverse. This film takes the audience through the boy’s journey through life. The first act of the film begins with an elderly woman in a hospital. She is with her daughter and it is storming outside that is nearing the end of her life. The mother and daughter seem distant. The mother asks her to give her a diary that she has in her possessions, the diary the personal journal of Benjamin Button; this is where the narration begins.

The film uses mostly restricted narration, as the story is told from Benjamin’s diary, and therefore through his point of view. There are also points of the film that are described through Daisy’s eyes in which she discloses her feelings and experiences. During most of the plots that presented the primary scenarios of the film, the director utilized blunt lighting to impose a remarkable subtlety in the emotions of the characters involved. Meanwhile, in order to separate the gleeful moments against that of the dull moments, the color selections on the clothes of the characters were carefully chosen to show how each individual felt about the situation that they are facing.

The Film’s Thematic View

Daisy as an outside spectator actively participates in the makeup of the narrative of the film. She supplies restricted narration throughout the film, especially when she reveals to her daughter that Benjamin is her father. Her daughter also makes up the narrative of the film. When she leaves her mother to go and smoke, only to return to finish her mother’s story, she is altering the narrative of the film. The clockmaker also makes an impact on the narrative of the film. There is a great degree of parallelism between his story and Benjamin Button’s story. It is implicit that Benjamin’s condition is caused in least in part by this clockmaker. Another spectator that contributes to the film’s plot is Benjamin’s elderly roommate who was struck by lightning seven times. His seven unfortunate run-ins with lightening are used as comic relief throughout the film, many times teaching a lesson about life. One final spectator that has an influence on the narrative is Thomas Button, who is by and large a spectator in Benjamin’s life. He at the end of his life bequeaths his factory and fortune to Benjamin, making Benjamin’s life considerably more comfortable.

Causality is particularly important in Benjamin Button. For instance, there is a strain of events in which Benjamin names off, such as a someone taking a second longer getting their keys, that Daisy would not have been hit by a car and permanently injuring her knee. This set of events particularly motivates the rest of the film. Daisy may have never come back to see Benjamin had she not been hit by that car. Also Benjamin had with the English noble woman while he was working on a tugboat. While they talked she said that she could have been the youngest person to swim across the English Channel, but gave up during the swim, before she finished. Later on in the film the audience sees her as she becomes the oldest person to have swum the English Channel. Although it is implicit, it can be argued that her affair with Benjamin encouraged her to pursue her dream.

Implications and Reflections

Through the utilization of the cinematographic elements that make up the film’s integral value in correlation to the meaning that the director wants to represent to the primary audience of the movie. Noticeably, the director was careful enough to assure that each path of development takes the course from which humans naturally develop and how its reversal actually causes a sense of doubt and imbalance to the being of the individuals involved in the process. Take note how Daisy was growing old while Button was growing younger. When they meet during their mid-years when it comes to age-difference, the situation was specifically rightful and fulfilling for both. However, at the time of realizing how much different the paths they are taking at the time, they knew that the happiness they had would not last that long and that somehow one has to let go.

While a focus on Button’s case may be implied in the movie, a sense of understanding the complications of interest among couples could cause the failure of their relationship has also been presented alongside the implications of the complexity of the situations that the characters are involved in. The opening sequence of the film generates certain expectations as to the film’s development. As is hinted by the clock turning backwards, and the “elderly child” being born, it is reasonable for the audience to assume that Benjamin will age in reverse. However he ages in reverse only physically, for mentally he is still a child. So the audience expects to see a mentally maturing character going through a coming-of-age story, while at the same time battling his curious condition of reverse aging. These expectations are indeed met by the film’s end as the audiences sees Benjamin behave poorly in certain places in the film, as when he has an affair with an elderly English noble woman. The film can have said to have been tragic, because in many ways Benjamin’s reverse aging can be seen as an interpretation of Alzheimer’s disease [through the use of the more literal affect of the ailment to the brain development and regression experienced by the victims of the ailment], as his mind regresses until he cannot remember the people he loved or his life.

The story of Benjamin Button how a person slowly ages in reverse from an baby with a shriveled, elderly physical body, into a adult, young adult, until he becomes a baby and dies.  The plot is much deeper than this. There are several examples of this in the film. For instance, when Benjamin’s father, Thomas, drops him off in front of a retirement home, the causality behind it means that no one will be suspicious of Benjamin because he looks old. This sets up the possibility of Benjamin’s existence.A final difference between plot and story in Benjamin Button is when Benjamin leaves his family toward the end of the film because he is afraid that he will no longer be able to care for his child as he becomes more and more infantile. At this point, the movie imposes on the importance of sacrifice that creates a more specific meaning and depth for the film’s value in presenting the extreme realities of humanity in correlation to love, relationships and familial responsibilities. True, what makes the contrast of development in the movie in consideration with reality and fiction is the fact that it did not lose the real essence of being human, in this case, the existence of sacrifice and how it affects the value of each individual as he or she begins to take on the reality of responsibilities. Considerably it was hard for him to leave Daisy at the point of knowing that he was already going to have a child of his own. Not only would it be hard for the child, but it too would be detrimental to the relationship he shares with Daisy. No matter how much he wanted to stay around and see his son develop into a young man, he had to let go of his feelings and desires of living a normal life and accept the fact that to make it easier for Daisy to take care of their child, he needed to move away and let her have the life she deserves, even though it may mean that she needs to be with another man to move on.

The turn of events further improves in relatively appealing to the emotions of the audience is that of the part when button was slowly going back to infancy and finally closing his eyes in the peace of death. True, his life has been full of adventure. It has been fully colored with both doubts and fulfillments of his dreams. He had his own losses and own achievements, nevertheless, it could be said that he did live a life that is well defined as his being did leave a legacy to the people he loved.

Conclusion

From the story of Benjamin Button beginning as a mere sense of “curse”, the story develops into a more convincing process of reassuming the worth of life depending on how one lives it and not on how long one actually lives the years of his life. What makes this film a better sense of showing the delicate issues of human development is the fact that it approaches the matter in a more unconventional system that motivates the audience to think about the worth of their lives and how much meaning they create in every process of development that they take into consideration.

References

Peter Howell (2008-12-24). “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Moviemaking at its best”. The Toronto Star.

Yates, Rod (February 2009). “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”. Empire (Australia) (236): p. 43.

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