Water For Elephants: Movie Review
Water for Elephants
Cast: Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon, Christoph
Director: Francis Lawrence
RPatz tries to put the vampire sparkle behind him in this adaptation of the
Sara Gruen historical novel.
Set in Depression times in America, Pattinson plays Jacob (yes, we're aware
of the irony too) a vet student who's about to sit his final exams at Cornell
However, when his parents are killed in a car accident just moments into his
exam, his life changes as he loses everything - not just his family, but his
So, running away he jumps on a train which turns out to belong to the Benzini
Brothers circus troupe.
Convincing the owner August (a mightily impressive Waltz) that he can
contribute and showing his vet knowledge, Jacob is soon welcomed into the upper
echelons of the carny society.
However - that also includes an attraction to August's wife Marlena
(Witherspoon) which proves dangerous as August is a brooding man, prone to
explosive outbursts and abusing the animals....
Water For Elephants starts off well - the Depression era is brilliantly
captured and recreated and the tone is perfectly set for a nice historical love
But that's where the problems begin with Water For Elephants.
For a story like this to work, you need to have sizzling chemistry between
two leads - and to be frank, Pattinson and Witherspoon have as much chemistry as
a wet weekend. And that really lets the tale down and brings the whole thing
crashing into an average reality.
While RPatz and Witherspoon fail to bring any real spark, there is some
consolation in Waltz. He is fantastic; bringing the horrendous menace and
explosiveness needed to an evil man but also showing hints of a man conflicted
by his behaviour.
Water For Elephants is massively disappointing after such a good set up.