- Published: Sunday, 24 April 2011 19:25
- Written by Lupe Haas
WATER FOR ELEPHANTS may seem like a sappy love story but the adaptation based on Sara Gruen's novel, proves to be much more.
The film starts in modern times with Hal Holbrook recounting his days in the circus as a young man during the depression era. He flashes back to his young days as the young Jacob played by Robert Pattinson, a veterinarian student who loses his parents, and runs away joining the circus.
Interview: Robert Pattinson Wins Over Female Co-Star With Candy
Inglourious Basterd's Christopher Waltz is August Benzini, the bipolar circus ringmaster in the Benzini Bros. Circus who hires Jacob as the circus veterinarian. Jacob becomes infatuated with August's wife Marlena, the beautiful circus star played by a platinum blonde Reese Witherspoon. When Marlena's horse, the main circus act, must be put out of its misery, August purchases Rosie, an elephant. Rosie bonds the Marlena and Jacob in their love for the animal. After witnessing August's abusive behavior towards Marlena and the circus animals, Jacob wants to rescue Marlena from his clutches.
Movie Clip: An Elephant Flirts With Robert Pattinson In Water for Elephants
Initially, there is not much chemistry between Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon but as the story progresses you start to believe the mutual attraction. While the love story binds the plot together, it's the circus elements and August's character that brings together the film. Oscar winner Christopher Waltz again takes on the role of the villain but in WATER FOR ELEPHANTS, his character has moments of sympathy. His bipolar characteristics make his character the most interesting of the cast.
Robert Pattinson gives a different kind of performance in this dramatic period piece. The Twilight star rarely flashes a smile on screen, and in WATER FOR ELEPHANTS, we get to see a lighter side from Robert with the occasional laughter and his pearly whites. Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon gives another good performance as a flirty and sexy circus mistress. Rarely do we see her sexy side in her girl next door roles but here the circus outfits and beautiful dresses make Reese a goddess. Her circus act on the elephant was quite impressive, even more so when you find out she did all her stunts with her massive co-star.
The production quality is suberb and the depression era makes for an interesting backdrop for the love story. Director Frances Lawrence put together an entertaining and dramtic film that could've easily gone for a harlequin-style romance but it didn't.