Release Date: Apr 22, 2011
Runtime: 2 hr. 0 min.
Director: Francis Lawrence
Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson, Christoph Waltz, Paul Schneider, Hal Holbrook.
Based on the best-selling novel of the same title, “Water for Elephants” recalls the story of a runaway, and the forbidden love he encounters on the rail tracks during the Prohibition era. Set against the backdrop of ‘The Most Spectacular Show on Earth,’ the film creates a mesmerizing landscape that is alluring, as it is somber. Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon play the star-crossed lovers, Jacob and Marlena. He: the circus veterinarian; and she: the main attraction. Together, they create a wondrous show that rivals that of the Ringling Bros. However, as fledgling romances go, the attraction between the two actors falls short of a circus act. While Witherspoon is passable in her role as the unattainable starlet, Pattinson struggles to break his preconceived stereotype as teen heartthrob. From his brooding stares to his lifeless acting, the chemistry is all but lost amidst the performers and spectacles. In contrast, Christoph Waltz transcends above the others by bringing out his ruthless side as the abusive animal trainer and volatile husband of Marlena. It is his erratic behavior alone that keeps the tension alive in a rather slow-paced period drama.Though a bit has changed from the novel, the general essence remains, and in return we get a compelling story of love through hardships. While it's not the greatest tale ever told, it's a mellow transition into the action-packed summer that is to come.
Rating: 3 stars