The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Is it Based on a True Story or a Book?

The insurmountable essence of human connection and the enduring power of love are highlighted explicitly in ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.’ Director David Fincher enamors viewers with a compelling narrative that warps viewers with a reverent tale of life and death. The movie follows the story of Benjamin Button, a man who ages in reverse. As such, born with the maladies and appearance of an old man at the age of an infant, the movie follows a remarkable tear-jerker journey that leaves many pondering.

Starring Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Taraji P. Henson, Julia Ormond, Tilda Swinton, Jason Flemyng, and Mahershala Ali, it showcases how every friendship and every romantic relationship lies at the mercy of time. As the movie focuses on the temporal discrepancies in Benjamin’s life, viewers are left to wonder whether the story has any life-like inspirations. As the reverie of loss and circle of life is completely undone in the David Fincher directorial, many wonder whether the premise is based on a real-life occurrence or a book. If you are also intrigued and want to find out whether or not ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ is inspired by a real person, look no further. We’ve got all the answers you are looking for.

Inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Fiction

No, ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ is not based on a true story. The screenplay for the movie has been written by Eric Roth, who reprises the approach he followed in ‘Forrest Gump’ and focuses on the protagonists’ life experiences thoroughly and effortlessly. The movie and screenplay have been adapted from the original short story written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Viewers are also forced to look at the life-like similarities of the movie. From rare medical cases of mandibuloacral dysplasia and progeria, it isn’t uncommon for audiences to wonder whether the story is real.

Despite such similarities, the movie is based on Fitzgerald’s opus. However, even though the movie has been adapted from the short story, it is not a direct representation of Fitzgerald’s approach. As the movie progresses through the woes of a prolonged elegy, one is bound to think that the classical writer’s short story also follows such an approach. However, things lie in utter contradiction as Fitzgerald’s Benjamin is actually born as a 5’8 man at birth.

Even though the book has been the inspiration for the narrative of the movie, it is not a direct lift. One of the significant differences in the characters is their romantic interests. While Daisy’s love for Benjamin doesn’t wear, the short story does not follow the same suit. In Fitzgerald’s version, Benjamin ends up falling for the general’s daughter Hildegarde Moncrief and eventually marries her. However, as she begins to grow old and her beauty withers, Benjamin loses interest and heads off to the war to avoid home. In the book, Hildegarde moves to Italy and doesn’t find a mention again.

On the other hand, the undying devotion that tethers Daisy and Benjamin in David Fincher’s ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ is entirely different. As a tribute to Fitzgerald’s legendary character ‘Daisy’ from ‘The Great Gatsby’, writer Eric Roth captures the same haunting melancholy that prevailed between Gatsby and Daisy.

Benjamin and Daisy’s relationship does not just add a poignant element to the narrative but also signifies the timeless devotion that persists through everything. While the movie is a formulaic tear-jerker, Fitzgerald’s Benjamin is the recipient of a comical tragedy who is bullied at Yale, so he decides to attend Harvard and beat Yale at football by scoring more touchdowns than any other player.

The movie and book do share a number of disparities, but in its essence, the two remain the same. Showcasing the consistent ticking of the clock and the unending chiming of the hours, the premise focuses on the astute heartbreak that follows with love and life. Thus, even though ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ may emulate the presence of life-like characters, it is still based on a fictional short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

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