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No consensus yet.
It's a tale tastefully told and beautifully filmed, but Water for Elephants suffers from a pronounced lack of chemistry between its leads.
All Critics (193)
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I see Jacob's (Robert Pattinson) tale is one of tragedy, deceit, illusion, abuse (animal, spousal and workplace), drunkenness, murder and secret love. Incidents of nastiness and brutality vie with attempts to evoke the magic of the circus, but these have a desperate and unconvincing mood.
While young boys of a bygone age may have dreamed or orgies with hoochie-coochie dancers and drunken dwarfs, such outbursts of colourful fun are curiously joyless - neither Federico Fellini's surreal nor C.B. DeMille's exuberant vision of Circus. Equally, the romance between young Jacob and showgirl Marlena feels forced. Thank heavens, then, that the climactic catastrophe is appropriately dreadful.
Reese Witherspoon, it is said, loved the book. One suspects it was the costumes she loved best, the pink sequins, marabou feathers and bias-cut frocks nicely set off by the Jean Harlow hair.
For a dying circus whose unpaid roustabouts and moth-eaten animals are starving, she's almost too glamorous, holding court with a champagne glass in a handsomely appointed railway carriage boudoir.
Pattinson is, in his quiet, the sympathetic central character because his ardent, young Jacob is the one commencing a big life journey.
Most memorable, though, is Christoph Waltz's terrifyingly unpredictable August. Horribly fascinating, he is charming and charismatic one moment, and savagely sadistic the next.
I LOVED the book and I figured that the movie wasn't going to live up to it, and I was right so it wasn't a major letdown. The book was so intense, throughout the entire thing and I could not put it down. I wanted the movie to be just as intense but it really wasn't. I didn't care about what happened to the characters in the movie as much as I cared about the characters in the book.
very entertaining, and actually well executed for what it was. the story itself was just an old story in new clothes, so it failed to be overly compelling, but it was a solid date movie.
This was a really cute movie. There was definitely no chemistry between Witherspoon or Pattinson, but it was pretty good. Nothing special or different about it. It's just an average drama. I'd totally watch it again, but not any time soon.
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