Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Water for Elephants = Surprise for Pills

Over the weekend I was able to make my way to see "Water for Elephants". I have to say that I was very satisfied and happy that I saw this movie and it was nothing that I expected. Entering the theatre I had my doubts about this movie. I remember seeing "Water for Elephants" displayed at the bookstore, picking it up, and reading the back cover. I never judge books by the cover, but I do judge them based on the back cover. The synopsis gave me the impression that it was just a boring love story so I passed it up and bought another book. Even when it was on the New York Times Bestseller list I revisited the back cover and still was turned off. That was probably a mistake after seeing the movie.

"Water for Elephants" got off to a quick start immersing the audience into Great Depression life for a Polish immigrant Jacob (Robert Pattinson) who is studying to be a veterinarian. Life quickly has other plans for Jacob and he leaves his well planned life and becomes a stowaway what turns out to be the Benzini Brothers Train moving town to town for their circus. The story then takes off and has a little bit of everything which makes this movie a success. This story is just as much a love story as it is an account of circus life and life of circus members from the owner down to the manure shoveler. Water gave a unique view on an aspect of Americana that was in its glory in an era gone by the wayside. I really was drawn in to the intricacies of circus life and what one needed to do in order to survive. Seeing the movie only makes me wish I would have read the book. The circus life was very intriguing and this is what defined the movie for me. The only problem that I saw in the movie was you could tell that it was adapted from a book leaving me wondering how much better the book was than the movie. There were scenes that went a bit too fast and themes that I wanted to see more of. Obviously, the book would have done the scened and themes more justice than a movie can. I give "Water for Elephants" 4/5 stars.



  1. I was thinking about checking out this movie, but I didn't know of anyone who had seen it. Your review has convinced me to check it out.

  2. yeah, the cover of the book made it look interesting. maybe i'll read it sometime after I plow through Gulag Archipelago which may take a long long time

  3. I recently went to the Ringling mueseum in nearby Sarasota. If you are interested in circus life, you would enjoy this. It has 2 circus museums, an art museum with some of Ringling's personal collection, and a huge estate built right on the water.

  4. I absolutely judge books by their cover, both literally and figuratively.

    I have to say, you've left me torn. On the one hand, I think you have good taste in movies. On the other, every instinct I have says this movie must suck. The book cover suggests "Oprah book club" to me, while the movie trailer makes me think I'll be half paying attention to it on Netflix someday with Evelyn while I'm either messing around on the internet or falling asleep on the couch.

  5. R Korn said....

    Well, if anyone ever looks at this post again I just finished the book. The book was pretty good, although it got a little unbelievable towards the end. The book captured the underground life of a circus in the depression era.

    Chris, they have a lot of pics on the book from the Ringling Bros museum in Sarasota.