REVIEW: Water For Elephants

Let’s face it, over the past 10 years, how many times have we seen a film with a romantic story that has a visually colourful background to it? Having said that, Water For Elephants really looked just that, but the fact that it involves a person I can’t stand: Robert Pattinson, and a person who I am really idolizing as of late: Christoph Waltz, it really was going to either be really rubbish or be a surprisingly enjoyable film.Water For Elephants really surprised me and it was actually a really pleasurable and heart-warming story. It is a personal story that did bring back memories of Tim Burton’s Big Fish that mixes us with the modern world and meeting different kinds of people and taking us on different adventures.

Water For Elephants is a really delightful film to watch as well if you are an animal lover! Sure, there are some hard to watch moments but the elephant within the film, has a mind of its own and its own character, so you can easily fall in love with the elephant. Although, it doesn’t fit for all families, it is perhaps suitable more for adults who have strong stomachs and like seeing films that features a lot of beauty and love. A key quality that Water For Elephants has which not many recent films have that are set in the early days of the world (especially around the war), is the reality of going back to history and making it a thought-provoking film. The production was just splendid (especially the settings and costumes) and from one’s perspective, Water For Elephants deserves the Academy Award nominations for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design.

Guilt was running through my veins watching this seeing as I’m one of those people who cannot stand Robert Pattinson, but all levities aside, I took a step back and simply tried to enjoy it. However, despite that Pattinson still isn’t a top-notch actor, he actually wasn’t that bad at all in Water For Elephants, so credit goes to him for the leading role and making it sublime enough to enjoy. He portrays the young Jacob, who in many ways has similarities with Edward Bloom in Big Fish (even young Jacob looks and dresses like young Edward did). Just to make Water For Elephants an even more pleasurable film to watch, there was the beautiful and talented Reese Witherspoon who took the role of the romantic interest of the protagonist (but also the wife of the antagonist). Witherspoon fitted the role really well and looked great. As for the romance between her and Jacob, it had similarities with Baz Luhrmann’s Australia and perhaps even James Cameron’sTitanic, so it did have its passionate and heart melting moments, but had its heartbreaking segments at the same time.

Despite being in his 50s now, Christoph Waltz really is becoming a Hollywood star after his Oscar winning role in Quentin Tarantino’sInglourious Basterds and out of his most recent roles since then, he has portrayed the villain, but all three are totally different kids of characters. It is a shame that he wasn’t as recognised then like he is now. He provides a side that we hadn’t seen from him before, and that isn’t like the villainous murderer like we’ve seen previously, but a rather romantic side in the scenes with Reese Witherspoon. So, I think Waltz could perhaps pull off a strong hero as well as a strong villain in the near future.

Back in 2007, director Francis Lawrence gave us I Am Legend but this time, he gives us something totally different. The direction was a bit like in Big Fish and Australia by mixing a lot of beauty and artistic design with a very deep, personal and affectionate story. He manages to make it perhaps easy enough for young people to watch, but it is definitely an adult’s story as well. At times, it even felt like it really was a film made in the 1930s seeing as the background design was fantastic, and there was strong character development so, the producers and the crew members behind the camera deserve credit.

Overall, Water For Elephants is a surprisingly beautiful and genuinely heartfelt story that will perhaps be the most surprising film of 2011 that I will see. It has what a romantic tale should: the charm, the drama and strong background stories within that could lead to tears. The film in a nutshell is basically Big Fish mixed with Australia/Titanic film. So, if you’re looking for a heart warmer in 2011, Water For Elephants is the film for you.


~ by SJMJ91 on 16/05/2012.

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