by Lorie Lewis Ham
Special coupon for Dinuba Platinum Theatre at the end of this review.
Water For Elephants provides an interesting behind the scenes look at a traveling circus during the depression. But even more than that, it shows how life can take unexpected turns that change us forever.
Jacob Jankowski, played by Robert Pattinson, is a young man with a wonderful future ahead of him, and a loving supportive family. On the day of his final exam at Cornell, after which he will be able to become a veterinarian, his whole world turns upside down. Jacob’s parents are killed in a car accident leaving him with nothing. Lost and alone Jacob jumps on board a circus train with no thought for the future. He is immediately taken under the arm of an old circus roustabout named Camel and soon becomes part of the circus family. However when the leader of the circus, August, learns he is a college man who knows veterinary medicine he goes from cleaning up after the animals to taking care of them.
Life seems to be treating him well on this new path until he gets to know August’s wife Marlena, played by the lovely Reese Witherspoon. Falling in love with her and an elephant who understands Polish, sets his life on a totally different path yet again that could lead to something great or to his death at the hands of a jealous and violent man.
This movie for me redeemed Pattinson in my eyes as an actor after his horrible portrayal of Edward in the Twilight movies. He does an excellent job of bringing Jacob to life in this movie. I’ve always loved Reese Witherspoon, and Christopher Waltz did a great job of playing the very twisted and complex character of August. With the unique and often gritty setting of an old traveling circus and the struggles brought on by the depression, a great plot, interesting characters and a tale of love and loss, this movie is a definite must see. This is one both my teenage daughter and teenage son loved.
Watch for a review of the book Water For Elephants this Saturday.
Water For Elephants is now playing at Dinuba Platinum Theatres 6. Showtimes can be found on their website.