Robert Pattinson as Jacob
Reese Witherspoon as Marlena
Christoph Waltz as August
Hal Holbrook as Old Jacob
As a stand alone film Francis Lawrence’s Water for Elephants is an enjoyable romantic drama that showcases some quality acting however having read the novel first I could not help but feel the ending was rushed and some of the quality storyline glossed over.
The omission of some of the friendship storyline with Jacob, Walter and Camel and also the portrayal of Jacobs life at the retirement home was probably necessary from a film sense but it gave the story such depth in the novel that it was difficult to build a relationship with the film version of the characters.
Adaptation issues aside Water for Elephants is an admirable drama with quality acting from the star studded cast especially from Christoph Waltz who plays August the paranoid schizophrenic circus owner with impressive ease. Reese Witherspoon shines as Marlena the tortured wife of August but really comes into her own when her character falls in love with the young stowaway vet Jacob played by Robert Pattinson.
Pattinson breaks away from his moody Twilight fame with his portrayal of Jacob, proving his worth as an actor as he shows an array of emotions and a believable chemistry with Witherspoon that heightens the enjoyment of this film.
So with some clever costumes, set design and quality acting Water for Elephants ticks all the boxes for its genre just try to view it as a separate entity as opposed to an adaptation of the Sara Gruen hit or you may be a little disappointed.