Water For Elephants
‘You’re a beautiful woman, you deserve a beautiful life, that’s all there is to it’
Francis Lawrence directs Water For Elephants, a drama film about an old man called Jacob Jankowski (Hal Holbrook) who recalls his days as a Cornell graduate (played at it’s best by Robert Pattinson) who runs away to the circus in the Great Depression, when there were few jobs, and falls in love with the circus performer Marlena (Reese Witherspoon), who just happens to be married to the violent ring master August (Christoph Waltz), who can charm people one moment and put them down the next.
Water For Elephants is based fairly loosely on the book of the same name by Sara Gruen. I read the book a couple of years ago shortly before the film itself came out, and was interesting in the way that she vividly allowed the book to come alive as it gave me predictions before I even saw the film, but lost that touch once I had seen the film enough times. I remember it being alot more explicit, with a couple more charecters but I realized that the film version was better than the book in many unexplainable reasons.
I watched the film alot more when it was originally out in 2011, or around that time, until I over watched it. The performances from the actors kept the film flowing at a steady pace. The elephant called Tai was so cute and lovable, the star of the entire film of which she should have won some sort of award for, despite the controversy surrounding the film. Robert Pattinson was incredible as his charecter of Jacob, as he always is, those eyes which look lost but embrace the person that he plays, and it is a breath of fresh air outside his Twilight persona as he ventures into slightly more mature roles. I liked Reese Witherspoon charecter, who, below the pretty showgirl looks and circus performances is a woman hoping for a dream. Christoph Waltz as August masters it as the abusive yet charming man who only wants to sell tickets, the look in his eyes showing a hint of evil which is only ever shown on camera, and earnt him an Oscar in other roles.
The film gave me a great feeling of nostalgia as I would watch it every week, a paradise amongst the Great Depression of the 1930s which reminds me somewhat of Moulin Rouge! in terms of the show- like performances. It went over my head several years with the animal beating films, but I found the scenes somewhat intense.
In conclusion, Water For Elephants is full of tension but seems elegant, a dramatic movie set in the early downfalls of the 1930s, with an almost all star cast (including Uggie the dog!) and suitable for all the family.