Curious Case of Benjamin Button Essays

Curious Case of Benjamin Button Essays

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When directors choose to adapt a novel or short story to fit the silverscreen, they often face the arduous task of keeping the author’s original plot in tow as well as, putting forth a believable product. In the case of Scotts Fitzgerald’s short story, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, director, David Fincher and screenwriter, Eric Roth chose to scrap the original framework of the story and start anew. Although Fincher and Roth keeps the basic idea of Benjamin Button’s existence the same, their screen adaption tells a more sincere version of how it would feel to live life in reverse. However, both the director and screenwriter acknowledge that Benjamin’s tale cannot be told without giving the audience an explanation for why he is born in his unlikely condition. Therefore, the addition of the story of Monsieur Gateau’s backwards clock not only serves as an explanation for Benjamin’s existence and a visual metaphor for time going backwards, but it also helps to create a tone shift within Roth and Fincher’s movie that allows for viewers to feel compassion for Benjamin’s character.
The audience is introduced to the story of the backwards clock in passing by an ageing Daisy who is shown as she lies dying in a New Orleans hospital bed during the onset of Hurricane Katrina. Unlike the image that Fitzgerald painted for Hildegarde’s elderly years, Roth and Fincher choose to portray Daisy in a naturally decrepitating way as opposed to being healthy and living abroad. Therefore, they show Daisy reaching old age in a more contrite manner, painting her as frail and barely lucid. During this scene of the movie, Daisy offers the audience a precursor to Benjamin’s story. This is the story of Monsieur Gateau, a blind French man whose son goe...


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...ty to display a moving tale of human life. Their work attest to the fact that regardless of the circumstance of one’s birth, death is inevitable and life must be lived accordingly. Even though The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a work of extreme fiction, both Fitzgerald and Fincher display a raw tale of human emotion throughout life. However, the movie’s adaptation uses the backwards clock to establish a certain level of decorum around the story of Benjamin Button in a tasteful and appealing manner making his story more believable to the audience.




Work Cited
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." The Curious Case of Benjamin Button & Other Jazz Age Stories. New York: Scribner, 1922. 318-42. Print.
Work Consulted
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Dir. David Fincher. Perf. Brad Pitt & Cate Blanchett. Paramount Pictures, 2008. DVD.

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