On the film version of Water for Elephants

Last Wednesday my friend invited me to the movies to see Water for Elephants. I don’t go to the movies that often. I think the last movie I saw in the theater was Alice in Wonderland. How long has that been? For me, Water for Elephants was definitely worth a biannual trip to the theater. My friend and I both read and loved the book, and we were wondering if the movie could possibly live up to our expectations.

We were not disappointed. It’s been a few years since I’ve read the novel, but from what I can remember, the film script seemed to follow Gruen’s story fairly closely. Less time was spent with the elder Jacob and less emphasis was placed on aging and the institutional life in nursing homes. However, the movie was already two hours long, so inevitably some scenes had to be cut.

I liked that the filmmakers focused on the themes of power and illusion in this story. The circus must have been so magical in an age without CGI and the internet. Behind the illusions there were undoubtedly driven, misguided and abusive men like August.

I guess some critics dislike Robert Pattinson in the role of the protagonist Jacob. I’ll admit that I think Robert Pattison is cute though I’m not madly in love like some! (My husband thinks his face looks like a foot.) Still, when I heard that he was cast as Jacob, I wasn’t sure he fit my mental image of the character. Halfway through the movie, however, I decided he was a decent choice.

And of course I loved Rosie!

For what it’s worth, this girl who rarely gets around to watching movies recommends Water for Elephants. 

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