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"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"- Revisited

Wednesday December 17, 2008

I've been known to take in a film multiple times. Some people I know, don't like to see films more than once saying something like, "I know the plot. What's the point?" I like to answer that, for me, sometimes a film improves immeasurable upon repeated viewings. Actually knowing a plot allows me to focus on subtle nuances I may have initially missed the first time around. It could have been the acting, an image, a sound-something I missed or felt that wasn't present in my mind after the lights came on. And sometimes, how I felt about the film is changed-despite the familiarity of the plot lines. I might have been in a bad mood; something else occupying my mind and thoughts may have clouded my judgment that day (I always said that someday I might revisit "Juno" just for this purpose). I have especially found that there is something new and special to behold when seeing films again that I particularly enjoyed. Case in point: "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button". Don't get me wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed Fincher's epic tale, initially giving it 3 1/2 stars (see below). However, I am now ready to modify this to a solid 4 stars after screening it again 15 days later. What I missed on the second go-around was how simply the tale was told, how matter of fact was the narrative and, how profound the message was behind the words and pictures. And Brad Pitt, through facial expressions and manner of speech was so beautifully understated as the main character who lived his life in reverse without questioning his fate in the end. It's a bravura performance that didn't hit me the same way the first time. Certainly the best role and acting he has ever done. I was completely overwhelmed and moved the second time around that also allowed me to marvel even more in the set design and technology that created the amazing images on the screen. And I was able to concentrate on the incredible score by Alexandre Desplat which appropriately understated the action. Hitting on universal themes of life and time, everyone will relate to the journey each character takes. That being said, I have placed this on my list of the best films this year. And if you have a chance, see it more than once and let me know if you agree that it gets better and better each time. Nationwide release is in 3 days.

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