I Saw A Film Today… Water For Elephants

I feel the need to touch on an old subject that I haven’t talked about in a while and that subject is Twilight. Not the time of day but the cultural phenomenon. I admit that I have in the past possibly been rather harsh on the stupid series (whoops, there I go again). If we can all admit, it is a mediocre parasite that has somehow latched itself onto our everyday lives, much like Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga. But I believe the cast in these films are actually talented. Kristen Stewart was fantastic as Joan Jett in The Runaways. And the star of Water For Elephants, Robert Pattinson, has the potential to be good if he would just take good roles. I guess what I’m saying is I hate the medium (Twilight), not the players. As always, you can send in your complaints and hateful words. I frankly find your defence of this series humorous.

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Jacob Jankowski is an older gent who is not having a particularly good day. First his son forgets to come visit him at his nursing home, he missed the circus that came to town, and was left at the said circus by the home. While waiting for someone to come and pick him up from, he begins to tell the owner of the circus about his time at The Benzini Brothers Circus, one that is noted for its tragic ending.

It is revealed that Jacob came to work on the circus not because he didn’t have opportunities. He was going to Cornell to be a vet until his parents were killed in a car accident. With no money Jacob set out on the road and through a series of events became a worker for the Benzini Brothers.

Benzini’s is run by August Rosenbluth (Christoph Waltz), a man who is both charming and dangerously tyrannical. He recognizes Jacob’s talents with the animals and makes him the circus vet and eventually the trainer of Rosie, an elephant. Marlena (Reese Witherspoon), the wife of August, is the star performer and trains with Jacob and Rosie (see where this is going?). Now Jacob must choose between life and love when the jealous August finds out about the connection between Marlena and Jacob.

As a surprise to me, I quite enjoyed Water for Elephants. There is nothing new here that you can’t get from Oprah’s Book of the Month Club, but it is executed well. The story is engaging and visually exciting. It also gives a bit of a look at an era when working hard was one of few ways to get by. I’m not saying it is historically accurate but it is an interesting world.

Christoph Waltz has already proven that he can play dastardly and charming amazingly (see: Inglourious Basterds). Here he displays that in near perfect form as well. Robert Pattinson is alright in the film, even though he never fully goes all out. I wonder how good Pattinson would be if he would just let go. And Reese Witherspoon is good as well. Even with the gap in age between Pattinson and Witherspoon being rather big, the connect between the two are believable.

Water For Elephants really does not bring anything new to the genre. But it’s not bad either. Girls: don’t feel bad about dragging your boyfriend to the theater for this. Guys: Take consolation in knowing that at a point in the film the elephant kills a guy with a metal stake. Oh yeah.

Verdict: RENT IT!

Comments? Opinions? Leave them below.

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