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Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants: Magical Romantic Drama

  • Christoph WaltzReese Witherspoon...
  • Drama
  • Francis Lawrence
reviewed by
Omar Atef
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Water for Elephants: Magical Romantic Drama

When
his parents are killed in a car accident, Jacob Jankowski (Pattinson) is left with
his life in tatters. Unable to continue his education, he joins the Benzini Brothers’ Circus to take
care of the animals. Hired by the circus’s owner and ringmaster, August
(Waltz), Jacob becomes engrossed with his new life as he instantly falls for
August’s wife, Marlena (Witherspoon), who also happens to be one of the main
performers at the show. August buys an elephant and asks Jacob to train it for a new circus act. Predictably,
the situation becomes even more complicated when August discovers Jacob’s
infatuation with Marlena.

Water for Elephants is based on the best-selling novel
by Sara Gruen, and the film’s adaptation stays true to the novel’s romantic and
magical theme. The only flaw in the plot is the chemistry between Pattinson and
Witherspoon, which feels a little insincere, and some of the more romantic
scenes drag on longer than needed.

Nonetheless,
the actors give solid performances in this film. Pattinson gives a mature performance and connects
with the audience, while Witherspoon is a suitable love interest, and portrays the
character of Marlena as a woman of dignity and elegance. However, Waltz manages
to steal the show with a powerful and intense performance; another
commendable role after his Oscar winning turn in Inglorious Basterds (2009).

The
cinematography portrays the depression era beautifully, lavishly capturing the
magical spirit of the circus in the same vein as that of a classic Hollywood
film.

Despite
suffering from the predictability of its plot, Water
for Elephants
is a timeless tale conceived in a tone of classical film-making that is guaranteed to
impress viewers.

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Scarlett Johansson turned down the role of Marlenaa and Sean Penn was originally cast as August but dropped out, while Channing Tatum and Emile Hersch were among several actors who auditioned for the role of Jacob.

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