The Curious Case of Film Adaptation: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button from Text to Film

Essay by defy.gravityUniversity, Bachelor'sB, September 2009

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At the heart of film adaptation, there is film adaptation theory. Film adaptation theorists lay out common guidelines for print to film analysis. Many of these theorists operate on the same blanket of main points: fidelity and process. Fidelity is concerned with how faithful film adaptations are to their print counterparts. Process is concerned with the act of adaptation, what to adapt and how best to adapt it. David Fincher is one of Hollywood's most famous adaptation directors. He has directed three highly acclaimed film adaptations: Fight Club (Chuck Palahniuk), Zodiac (Robert Graysmith) and most the most recent and subject of this essay, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (F. Scott Fitzgerald)Fitzgerald's short story "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is a peculiar tale about a man who ages backwards. Born in 1860, Benjamin is unwanted by his family who see him as a freak. His father spends much of Benjamin's early life trying to make him normal by treating him like a child and "had his hair cur short and dyed to a sparse unnatural black had his face shaved so close that it glistened and had been attired in small boy clothes" (Fitzgerald, 66).

Eventually Benjamin grows up (or down, depending on how one looks at it) and is allowed to social functions at the age of 20, when he looks the age of 50. He meets young Hildegarde Moncrief and soon the two become engaged, much to her parent's dismay at having their daughter marry someone so old. They have a son, Roscoe. With time, Benjamin no longer finds his wife attractive so he joins the army. When he returns home he is often mistaken for his son and "began to take a naïve pleasure in his appearance" (Fitzgerald, 77-78). He goes to...