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Thirsty for a good movie? Try “Water for Elephants”

“Water for Elephants” is an epic depiction of life on a travelling circus. The movie itself is quite the spectacle, showcasing life during the Depression and telling the story of a forbidden love—complete with trapeze artists, clowns, a toothless lion and, yes, an elephant.

I have to admit I was wary about seeing “Water for Elephants.” Having read and loved Sarah Gruen’s book, I was concerned that Hollywood would do what it so often does and screw it up. This fear was compounded when I saw that Robert Pattinson was playing the lead character, Jacob Jankowski.

However, I was pleasantly surprised. The movie did an almost flawless job of compacting a 300 page book into two hours, and it stayed true to the plot almost entirely. Of course there were minor details lost, but I was impressed with the overall feel and emotion that the movie sustained.

Robert Pattinson, although still fulfilling his overly brooding typecast, managed to hold his own beside Reese Witherspoon, who played a perfect female lead as Marlena. Perhaps the best actor of the bunch was Cristoph Waltz, who expertly portrayed the part of August, the mean and mentally tempestuous circus boss.

Overall, I would recommend this movie. Although still satisfying audiences with a typical love story, its interesting setting adds a new dimension to played out romance movies. The movie managed to pull out most of what was great about the book, and that’s more than I can say for most cinematic adaptations.

 

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