Released November 1, 2011 by Fox Home Entertainment
Today is the conclusion for our amazing WATER FOR ELEPHANTS Week activities, and since today is the release day of the DVD, it is fitting that we review the movie today. If you haven’t read the book, don’t worry, this is a movie where you won’t be lost, but as I always say, think about reading the book before you see the movie. Sometimes you’ll be surprised!
WATER FOR ELEPHANTS follows the same story as the novel, casting Robert Pattinson as Jacob and Reese Witherspoon as his love interest Marlena. The movie stays true to the book, from the characters to the scenes, even taking time to show minor aspects of the book that I thought they would overlook, such as the dwarf and his dog. However, there were so many details of the book forgotten by the movie that made the book special to me, which automatically became a slight nitpick.
I really enjoyed seeing the details of the book with my own eyes on screen, from the hierarchy of the roustabouts to the ringmaster and the society these people created for themselves in the confines of the circus. Living in their own society with their own rules, these people got away with a lot, and the movie takes this into consideration. Some of the sexier aspects of the book were overlooked for the safety of a PG-13 rating of course. This didn’t detract from the movie in my thoughts.
The casting in this movie was great. Although Robert Pattinson didn’t bring as much to the table as I had hoped (and I still saw Edward Cullen every moment he was on screen), Reese Witherspoon’s performance as a battered wife was amazing, as was Christopher Waltz as her abusive husband. Witherspoon’s performance with the animals was especially entertaining – even though I don’t know how much she actually did herself, it was very impressing and believable. The minor characters were also well cast and well performed, bringing to this movie an honesty the book deserved.
Even if you previously read the novel, you will not get bored. The movie moves at a great pace and weaves its tale in much the same way as the book, incorporating flashbacks and present day narration from an elderly Jacob. And the costumes alone are amazing and to die for. If you’re a fashion nut like me, you will appreciate that alone.
VERDICT: With stunning performances, WATER FOR ELEPHANTS will not disappoint, even with a few small nitpicks here and there. It’s a movie worth seeing.
♥♥♥♥ - FOUR HEARTS