|photo source: Twentieth Century Fox|
Take a journey back in time with the romantic tale based on Sara Gruen’s New York Times #1 Best-Seller novel of the same name, WATER FOR ELEPHANTS, coming to Blu-ray and DVD on November 1st from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Starring Academy Award®-winner Reese Witherspoon (Walk The Line), Robert Pattinson (Twilight series) and Oscar®-winner Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds), the film presents an epic tale of forbidden love in a magical place filled with adventure, wonder and great danger. Showcasing the decadence of a bohemian circus and the majesty of its animals against the backdrop and beauty of a bygone era, WATER FOR ELEPHANTS makes the ideal holiday gift idea for your favorite film buff, fashionista or book-lover!
Devastated by the sudden death of his parents at the height of The Depression, a young dreamer from the wrong side of the tracks, Jacob Jankowski (Pattinson), abandons his veterinary studies at Cornell University. With no other family, no house, and no money, Jacob stows away on a train carrying the circus performers of The Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Hired as a veterinarian to care for the troupe’s animals, Jacob is temporarily filled with the promise of an exciting life that comes with a traveling circus troupe. However, as he builds a rapport and falls in love with the star of the show, Marlena (Witherspoon), they become prey to the circus’s owner, Marlena’s violent and abusive husband August (Waltz). As the circus begins to crumble from within and against all odds, Jacob and Marlena come together and fall in love through their compassion for a special elephant. With their love on the line, Jacob and Marlena come to a crossroads that will forever change their destiny. - Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
The story is set in 1931, during the Great Depression in America. Times are hard among all different types of people. We see this in the most influential individuals, down to the grittiest working class men. While reading the book I pictured that lost look in so many faces. The same look carried over in to the film, where it was evident that Robert Pattinson's character had no idea what tomorrow would bring him. He was living for the moment, with just the shirt on his back. Jacob's character is by far my favorite. He is what carried this story so well for me. I fell in love with his innocence and will to want to do better, be better. I felt that Robert Pattinson portrayed his innocence very well. In almost every scene, we saw his reaction through his eyes to things he had been witnessing for the first time. It pulled you in and made you feel as though you, too, were seeing these things for the first time.
|photo source: 20th Century Fox|
The passion between Jacob and Marlena was a slow build in the book. For movie purposes, we tend to see that relationship on fast forward. It almost appears to be insta-love, which is not always believeable. I definitely preferred the slow build in the book. Marlena's character stayed true to the time era, when a woman was to be loyal to her husband, no matter what the circumstances were. It took some time before she gave in to her feelings and reacted.
Aside from Jacob's character, the circus itself was my next favorite element of the story. It encompassed so much of what that time stood for. The illusion of happier times. The country was going through a devastating period, trying to recover from economic failure, yet here was a little piece of magic that would roll in to town and help people to remember how to smile again. Behind the illusion is reality though, and that is something we saw a lot of. Hard working men went hungry, constantly. Rules were broken, and people behaved in cruel ways in order to survive.
|photo source: 20th Century Fox|
Sara Gruen's story of Water for Elephants depicts an era when times were tough, yet a sense of hope can be shed on even the hardest of moments, too. The human being can be cruel, but the human spirit can be surprising. If you've read the book, then I encourage you to watch the film. It's a timeless story that's been brought to life, with imagery that will linger forever in your mind.
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