By Josh Zerbini (Clarks Green, PA)
Water for Elephants: A Casual Review
Water for Elephants was released on April 22, 2011 under the direction of Francis Lawrence and adapted from the novel “Water for Elephants” written by Sara Gruen. First of all, I would like to be able to say that I have read the book. But, unfortunately I have not, so I cannot compare and contrast the two. If you are not familiar with Francis Lawrence, he also directed Constantine and I am Legend. The screenplay was done by Richard LaGravenese, who also created the screenplay for Horse Whisperer.
Before I share my critique/plugin, I would to share a short summary for the movie with mild “spoiler alerts”. Jacob (Robert Pattinson) decides to venture on a “do not know where I am going, but need to go somewhere other than here” journey after the sudden death of his parents. He finds himself on a train which happens to be none other than a circus train. The menacing and proud ring leader of this circus, August (Christopher Waltz), threatens to toss this young schoolboy off the train. But he finds out that Jacob is learned in vet medicine. Realizing this could be a great service to his circus, and perhaps save it from despair, he decides to let the boy travel with them. As he travels with the circus, Jacob begins to establish a love for August’s wife Marlena (Reese Witherspoon). During the movie, August realizes that the circus is struggling to receive a steady income. So, he decides to buy off an Elephant to become the new mascot and circus act. And of course, the love for Marlena is swelling up within Jacob’s heart all along. Will the jealous August allow this? Does he even notice it? Does the Elephant act succeed? Well, I guess you will just have to discover this for yourself!
As mentioned in the summary the lead roles are played by common actors, Witherspoon (Legally Blond), Waltz (Inglorious Basterds), and Pattinson (Twilight). Now let me get off track here for just a moment. Please do not disregard this movie due to Pattinson being a lead role just because you may of disliked him in Twilight. This is an entirely different movie with an entirely different role. Okay, now let’s get back on track. I think what makes this movie great in my eyes is the fact that it actually has a plausible set and is sort of old-fashioned. Now do not get me wrong, I love action movies; if you have all ready read some of my blogs, you will know that. I think it is relaxing and beneficial every once in a while to entertain the mind with a movie that has real-to-life characters and a conceivable storyline. But, as always, this is my opinion; feel free to disagree.
From the beginning to the very end, this movie is embossed in colorful imagery. And of course, if you love animals, you will clearly love this movie, seeing that is centered around an Elephant. However, I do have to say that I think the lead roles could have had a better chemistry amongst each other. I mean, the separate roles were incredible, and I believe, highly targeted what people were going through in the early 1930’s. But amongst each other, there could been more of a harmonious connection. Even with this minute flaw, I love this movie and would recommend it to anyone out there who is dying to see a conventional romance story. A conventional romance meaning one different than what Hollywood is promoting nowadays.
If you have seen this movie, I would love to know your thoughts behind it. Was the movie successful? Could there of been a stronger chemistry between the actors? Did Water for Elephants successfully depict its time period? If you have not seen this movie, I would encourage you to watch it and then share your opinion.