Review: Water For Elephants - GigSpotting.Net

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Review: Water For Elephants

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Actress Reese Witherspoon in the Oval Office o...

Reese Witherspoon (Public Domain Image via Wikipedia)

Aside from my fascination with the circus and the early 1900's, I had no real interest in seeing Water For Elephants.  As it turned out, I had a free ticket, and I'm still counting down the minutes until Super 8 comes out, so I needed something to occupy my time.  The film, based on the Sara Gruen novel of the same name, starts off with an old man (Hal Holbrook) recounting stories from his youth and one of the "most famous circus disasters of all time."

Jacob Jankowski, played by Robert Pattinson, is suddenly orphaned and hops aboard a passing train hoping to find work and a new life.  The train he chooses is a part of the Benzini Brothers traveling circus, where he is able to find work in the midst of the Depression.  As a veterinary student, he's given the opportunity to work with the animals, and in turn, work with Marlena (Reese Witherspoon), the star performer who is also married to August (Christoph Waltz), the man who runs the business. The developing love triangle is the focal point of the film. Jacob thinks he is the better man, and August's rage is proving that to be true.  Their fight to win the love of Marlena creates genuine emotions for these characters.  The chemistry between Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon is often weak and a little forced, but the incredible acting of Christoph Waltz carries the movie. 

While I still don't count myself as a Robert Pattinson fan, this is the best role I have seen him in, and the film did truly entertain me.  At several points, audible gasps could be heard from the crowd, and, without noticing, I had literally moved to the edge of my seat.  The love story isn't the best of all time, but the film is beautifully directed and has enough action and imagery to keep anyone interested.