On Buttons, Last Chances and Barcelona
“That’s sad,” said my 11-year old boy after we watched the 167 minute-long movie. I was surprised that he sat through the whole thing. My two older boys joined us only after the first few minutes. It’s a good family rated-PG movie. I enjoyed watching it with the boys, lots of life lessons to learn from.
Benjamin narrated at the beginning:
My name is Benjamin Button, and I was born under unusual circumstances. While everyone else was agin’, I was gettin’ younger… all alone.
The key word there is alone. I guess anybody has experienced that feeling of being alone at least a few times in their life. It’s not a good feeling. Although the movie has a sad ending, there are a few funny parts in between. The boys like especially when Mr. Daws would tell Benjamin, “Did I ever tell you I’ve been struck by lightning seven times?” And there would be a clip of how he was struck by lightning.
It was pretty cool to watch the earlier parts of the film when Brad Pitts’ character was old. We are so used to CGI Images now, how they make actors look older. Make-up artists do a pretty good job, too. But what I found amazing is how they made Pitt look like a young 23-year old. I don’t know, somehow, I find it freaky. Not the way he looked, but just knowing that he doesn’t really look like that now. It’s like they took that image from one of his older movies.
It’s a charming love story, not the mushy kind. It’s about two older people having a late chance at love. Harvey is a divorced American who went to London to attend his daughter’s wedding. Kate works at the Heathrow airport. When they first met, he was rude to her. But on their second meeting, they warmed up to each other. They spent the next few days together and their quick friendship might lead to a possible romance. I was touched by Harvey’s speech at his daughter’s wedding. I can relate to what he said about how it must have been tough for his daughter to come from a broken home. It was a very moving speech.
This movie reminded me of Closer, but only this one is lighter. And unlike Closer, this one is not really about the lies. Relationships and emotions already tend to be complicated so why do people still get involved with people who are already involved with somebody else? In this movie, two women friends who have different views on love fall for the same guy. Vicky has a more conservative approach to love. She looks for a realistic and stable relationship. On the other hand, Cristina is willing to risk her feelings to find passion.
I find the narration weird. It sounded like the narrator is reading from a book, without any feelings at all. So unlike the narration from Desperate Housewives. Although Mary Alice doesn’t seem to tell the story with feelings either, there are changes in her intonation. But then again, Woody Allen must have intended for the narrator of this movie to tell the story like that.
I’m also wondering why the actress who played Vicky (Rebecca Hall) didn’t get, I think, a fair billing. After all the title is Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and the story is about Vicky and Cristina in Barcelona. If you see the billing, you’d think that it was Penelope Cruz and Scarlett Johansson who play the title characters.