Based on the acclaimed bestseller, WATER FOR ELEPHANTS presents an unexpected romance in a uniquely compelling setting. Veterinary school student Jacob meets and falls in love with Marlena, a star performer in a circus of a bygone era. They discover beauty amidst the world of the Big Top, and come together through their compassion for a special elephant. Against all odds — including the wrath of Marlena’s charismatic but dangerous husband, August — Jacob and Marlena find lifelong love
It’s extremely rare for me that I will sit down and watch a movie then go out and buy the book, but with WATER FOR ELEPHANTS I did just that. This is just such a beautiful story with strong characters, amazing cinematography, breathtaking music and a brilliant script.
The novel itself was written by Sara Gruen and adapted to a screenplay by Richard LaGravenese who also penned the scripts to such popular movies as ‘The Horse Whisperer’ and ‘A Little Princess’ so obviously with those two titles alone we know he can write and dialog wise he’s pretty much flawless. I think the best part of the production of this film is the director Francis Lawrence who’s usually doing Music videos and only in the last 6 or so years decided to hit the movie scene with his first film ‘Constantine’ then ‘I Am Legend’ which is quite the combination going from them into this rather epic love story.
The cast was chosen with what I feel quite the precision, picking Robert Pattinson in the lead role of Jacob, I thought was a bit unusual but this movie does show that he has some talent other then the sparkly tree sitting vampire Edward and what really impressed me about Pattinson is that he pulled it off with such ease. Reese Witherspoon took on the role of Marlena and just literately sucked me in, I think I fell in love with her during the 120minute duration of the film. Christoph Waltz well what can I say about him, he blew my mind with his jew hunter ways in ‘Inglorious Basterds’ and did exactly the same with WATER FOR ELEPHANTS, I thought his performance in the recent ‘The Green Hornet’ was shocking but this movie just got him back in my top ten actors list, but the stand out in this entire movie other then the Elephant of course is Hal Holbrook he plays the ‘older’ Jacob and he was just amazing, for the little screen time he had WOW, there’s even parts that made this grown man tear up so grab a few tissues.
There are a couple of slight faults but nothing overly pulverising. I would have loved to have seen a bit more character development between Jacob and Marlena, it just seemed fairly rushed for such a ‘love’ to be formed but they still managed to sell me it.
WATER FOR ELEPHANTS is by far and I’m going to say it the Best Drama I have seen and may see this year, it will be incredibly hard to top and hits Theatres everyone tomorrow.
I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars.