04-22-2011 05:38 PM
I saw "Water for Elephants" on April 22. I read the book so it was imperative that I see the movie. The movie can't encompass everything that's in the book in its two hour time frame, however, you will not leave the theater disappointed. Incidentally, the theater was crowded this morning, so, that's a good sign for the box office.
There's something about the Depression Era that is a bittersweet memory and captivates the curious to learn more and more about it. "Water for Elephants" will make the audience experience the Great Depression and hearing those old time records playing will put its stamp on that saga in American History.
Robert Pattinson as the young Jacob Jankowski along with the gal sporting the platinum blonde hair, Marlena, played by Reese Witherspoon, are average in their starring roles, however, Christoph Waltz as August is not only the ringmaster but his performance upstages all the rest. I would not be surprised if he gets another Oscar nomination. Sometimes, with his gestures, you conjure up memories of Colonel Hans Landa. He is terrific in his role as a brutal circus owner who manipulates his wife and orders "redlighting" for anyone who disturbs his own little corner of the world. The practice of "redlighting" is fatally throwing someone off the train.
Oh, there is one other big star in the movie and that is Rosie, the elephant. She's a darling, however, August mistreats her and those scenes are tough to watch. There is one part in the book that I'm glad the movie omitted and that scene involved August hurling a lit cigarette into the elephant's mouth.
When you watch "Water for Elephants," you are actually transported to the Big Top. You are there, as a rube, witnessing the clowns, the popcorn and lemonade, the lions, the circus entourage traveling on the train, the hoochie coochie show with guys getting clubbed on their heads if they sneaked a peek without paying, and the circus band playing. After all, this is the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth.
It's amusing the movie included the integral part where Jacob is training Rosie by giving her instructions in Polish.
The animal stampede toward the end is frightening, however, without giving away the ending, just remember the old saying: "An elephant never forgets!"
04-23-2011 07:10 PM
Can't wait to see this movie. I loved the book. Your review makes me want to get my butt to the theater tomorrow. I might have to do a double feature.....this one & Scream 4.