Button joined the ranks of romantic epics along with The Notebook and The Time Traveler’s Wife. It became a 2008 sensation after hitting theatres and grossing more than $300 billion dollars worldwide. As you can tell, I’m a bit behind on my movie watching. It’s really because I rarely go to the movie theatre unless a man takes me on a date, which doesn’t seem likely anytime soon. As a habit, I usually watch movies as they are released on TV.
Many people are confused by movies. I am not one of them. There are few movies that I watch and do not understand. Benjamin Button confused many but not me. It is another classic romance of epic proportions. I even got into a texting debate with a friend about the symbolism of relationships in the movie while I watched the closing scenes. It tells of a love that is pure enough to transcend unusual and unfortunate circumstances.
Benjamin lives his life in reverence, starting out in a body of an old, feeble man and dies as a baby. If you hold a mirror up to his story, it would reflect the same tale as everybody else. How so? We are al born to die. We start in diapers and end in diapers. We have no knowledge and with age, our memories slip away. Humanity thrives within the short span of middle age when knowledge, clarity and consciousness coincide. The true adversity social norms for what culture dictates as acceptable.
Daisy and Benjamin do not live for one another. They live for themselves. Both characters have other lovers, interests, and go onto finish their lives in different ways despite their enduring love for one another. They represent the idea that there is one person out there just for you. That doesn’t mean you will end up with them or that your story will have a happy ending, but it does mean that soul mates and true love does exist.
The movie plays with the symbol of a circle, where the beginning and end meet. Daisy and Benjamin always say goodnight to one another at the end of a day, regardless of their relationship status. There is an emphasis on the aging process. Life is a circle, and Daisy and Benjamin can only meet in the middle of the cycle. Being raised in an assisted living home and watching the sunrise, as his father dies, are all examples of the circle symbol carried in the movie.
Although there are a lot of themes that can be pulled from Benjamin Button, I choose the romance because it is obvious and also complicated. It’s not a Pride and Prejudice romance but a romance about humanity’s connections. What is more enduring and important is the relationship web that is cast by the movie over the characters. Humans are socials creatures – designed to be with one another. This syllogism leads to the hypothesis that there must be someone designed to be with you.
It is around my age that people begin to pair off. Weddings, rings and ceremonies are all ways to entrench into society the belief that true love exists. People don’t always pair off the right way or with the right person, but I’d still like to believe that there is someone out there for everyone. I do not usually dabble in romantic notions or idealistic thoughts save this one. As a creature of reality, I live by the laws of economics. However, I choose to believe that true love exists because I think the world would be sad place if it didn’t.