I've been meaning to read The Curious Case of Benjamin Button for quite awhile. Especially with it being the inspiration for the movie version that was released on DVD in 2008. I usually like to read the book first but in this case I did not and saw the movie first. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a short novella that is just 52 pages in length. It packs a powerful story in such few pages. As most know, F. Scott Fitzgerald is a well known classic writer best known for writing The Great Gatsby.
I found the premise for this book intriguing that a baby named Benjamin is born in 1860 as an old man of the age of 70. He ages backwards and becomes younger every year until he "ages" backwards into a baby. His family and then his wife and son all don't understand how this is occurring. They actually believe he is somehow at fault and could essentially stop this reverse aging if he so chooses. The book makes the reader think about aging, and how one would deal with it either in reverse or normal forward aging. Everyone needs to find their place in the world and Benjamin had to do this but in a reverse order. It's heartbreaking at times and also humorous and Fitzgerald creates a world of fantasy yet it is realistic as well. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a book well worth reading.
In most cases, I prefer the book over the movie but in this case I preferred the movie version of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. It is a modernized version of the book and I liked that it took the story to a deeper level that the book in short story form did not. The premise of the movie is loosely based on the book but has taken more creative liberties to expand on themes and events that didn't occur in the book. In the movie, Benjamin is born as an old white man and ages backwards but is not raised by his family and instead is abandoned at a home for the elderly and is essentially raised by a loving and nurturing black woman who lives and works there. Benjamin fits into this environment and new family well and develops relationships and an understanding of what happens as one ages normally. Benjamin is played by Brad Pitt who does a fabulous job and is easy on the eyes to watch as he gets younger. A love story and beautiful relationship develops with Cate Blanchett's character that shows their relationship and the short years that they were able to be a family and have a normal relationship. I didn't like how they ended the movie and how Benjamin chooses to live his life as he ages into infancy. This movie isn't a love story but more of a story about death and aging.
My Final Thoughts: I believe that the book and the movie are about life, death and aging. Both are about finding our place in the world however we come into the world and managing to make the best of that experience. We all age in different ways and in Benjamin's case is an extreme example as he ages backwards. The premise is that he is different and has to learn how to live life to the fullest being different.