I read the novel Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen way back in 2007 and thoroughly enjoyed it (read my review), so when I got the opportunity to preview the movie (due for release on Blu-Ray/DVD November 1st), I took it. The producers of this film (starring Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon) have been incredibly true to the book. In many ways, the film builds upon the romance between Jacob Jankowski and Marlena. The passion between them that readers first experienced between the pages of Gruen’s well-received novel crackles on screen.
Water for Elephants is about Jacob Jankowski who is first introduced as an elderly man longing for his younger days in the circus. Jacob has a story about the Benzini Brothers Circus – a story most people do not know. The movie quickly flashes back to Jacob’s younger years as he discovers the circus, Marlena (the wife of the violent circus owner, August), and a special elephant named Rosie.
Fox has done a remarkable job recreating a circus set in the prohibition days. The settings and costumes captured exactly what I had imagined while reading the novel. And there is no better actress to play the stunning and captivating Marlena, than Reese Witherspoon.
Pattinson is a real heart throb and it is no wonder he won the Teen Choice award for his portrayal of Jacob Jankowski. Don’t believe me? Check out this look at his performance:
My sister and I watched this movie and were completely captivated – we both agreed that its portrayal of story and characters paralleled the novel perfectly.
The film has been rated PG-13 and I think that is an appropriate rating. Younger viewers, or those who are sensitive, should be warned there is some violence against both animals and people in this movie which may be upsetting to some people.
Book groups who wish to read and discuss Water for Elephants will find the movie a wonderful complement to their analysis of the book. Fox has developed this excellent Book to Movie Study Guide which would help jump start a lively discussion:
My rating of the movie:
Want the opportunity to win a DVD/Book Bundle of Water for Elephants? Go to THIS post to enter!