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Lessons in love from ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ and ‘Forrest Gump

LifestyleLessons in love from ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ and ‘Forrest Gump

In the immortal words of Alfred Lord Tennyson, “‘tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” As we traverse the rocky terrain of our personal relationships, these words often echo in our minds, reminding us of the beauty and the impermanence of love. The silver screen has given us many memorable narratives that beautifully articulate this sentiment, but two movies, in particular, come to mind—”The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “Forrest Gump”.
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, an epic tale of a man ageing in reverse, is a tender exploration of life, love, and the relentless passage of time. Benjamin, portrayed by Brad Pitt, enters the world as a feeble old man and ages in reverse, becoming younger as the years pass. This bizarre circumstance creates a unique landscape for love, as he meets and falls for Daisy, played by Cate Blanchett. Their relationship, like life itself, is subject to the unyielding onslaught of time. The love between Benjamin and Daisy is genuine and profound, even though they are aware that their relationship is doomed. The pain of their inevitable separation is piercing, yet it does not diminish the beauty of their connection. Despite the melancholy, it reminds us that every moment of love is worth the pain of loss.
Now, turn to “Forrest Gump”, a compelling tale of an unlikely hero with an unwavering spirit. Despite his limited mental capacity, Forrest, played by Tom Hanks, experiences love with an intensity that resonates deeply with viewers. His enduring love for Jenny, despite the numerous challenges and her intermittent absence, is a testament to his pure, unchanging affection. Forrest’s capacity to love, to forgive, and to maintain hope in the face of adversity is humbling. When Jenny ultimately leaves Forrest, the pain is palpable. However, the loss does not render his love meaningless or futile. Rather, it underlines the depth and resilience of his affection.
Both films remind us that love is not diminished by loss, but rather, it is defined by it. The anguish of losing a loved one is undeniably heart-wrenching, yet it is this very loss that makes love precious. It is the fragility and the transience of love that makes it such a profound experience. The narratives of Benjamin and Forrest emphasise that love is not about possession or permanence but about appreciation, sacrifice, and understanding.
Love in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “Forrest Gump” demonstrates Tennyson’s sentiment in action—love, regardless of its outcome, is an enriching, transformative experience. It enhances our lives, opens us up to new understandings of ourselves and others, and leaves an indelible mark on our souls. It may bring with it heartache and sorrow, but these emotions do not negate love’s value. Instead, they amplify it, serving as reminders of the love that was, and the growth it brought about.
Tennyson’s wisdom, as brought to life by these films, offers a comforting perspective on love and loss. Love may lead to loss, but it is better to have ventured into the domain of love, to have experienced its highs and lows, than to have steered clear of it altogether. So, as we navigate through our own curious cases and run like Forrest through life, let’s remember that love, in all its forms and complexities, is an adventure worth taking. In conclusion, the characters of Benjamin Button and Forrest Gump both experienced love’s full spectrum—its dizzying highs and its despairing lows.

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