Coming Soon

April 25, 2011

Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants is the story of a veterinary student who leaves school to join the circus after his parents are killed. He bonds with the ringmaster's wife over their mutual love for animals and becomes part of one of the most well-known circus debacles in history. This is based on a best-selling novel, which usually is a recipe for success; however, I was concerned that the casting and uniqueness of this story might make the on screen representation weaker than the novel. Much to my surprise, the acting is impressive and the creation of this unusual world is very creatively presented.

First, Robert Pattinson plays the lead character, the former veterinary student. I was very skeptical, because Pattinson's most well-known role has been in the Twilight series. While I love this series, it does not increase his credibility as a quality actor. Contrary to my expectations, his acting was deep, believable, and perfect for this role. His character is a shy, young man who has fallen into the circus world after a tragedy in his life. Pattinson perfectly creates a reserved and educated man, who is also torn and passionate. My other concern was the on-screen relationship between Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon. These two seem to be in a different generations of actors that would make a romance unnatural or unrealistic. I was pleasantly surprised that their on-screen chemistry was very good. Their relationship and flirtations were believable, but the intimate scene between the two was a little uncomfortable, for me at least.

This story is set in the 1930s and follows the life of a circus crew. This is a very unique world, that was seen as luxurious and fabulous during this time. I was a little concerned that this world would not be created as well on screen as it can be created in the individual minds of readers. Again my expectations were put to shame by the realistic and imaginative representation of this film. The world of luxury and excitement was created perfectly, while still incorporating the darkness and hard work that was also part of this world. The lead character is able to experience and move back and forth between these two aspects of the circus life. This unusual life is portrayed with no cheesiness or artificial feelings. 

This film had the potential to be very successful, because of the creativity of the novel. This potential was met despite all of my skepticism. The acting is impressive and very well cast. This unique story was brought to life in a creative and realistic manner. While this film is very much geared towards women, it can be a pleasant surprise to most audience members. It makes you apart of a world that is completely different and unknown to us today. If you are looking for a whimsical story of illusion and survival, Water for Elephants is the film to see.

See it!