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A very good film, but read the book for a better experience of the story
Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen
Member Name: mel2989
Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen
Advantages: Good story with great effects
Disadvantages: the audience often misses key moments which can only be found out form reading the book
Whether you enjoy reading a good book or like me have to read the book which goes with a film, I would certainly recommend reading this book. It is a heartwarming tale of Jacob an old man living out the rest of his life in a retirement home which he hates, waiting for a family member to take him to the circus. While waiting Jacob recall his life as a teenager working with the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth circus, where he learned some harsh lessons in life and love. Jacob was a promising student vet who had his studies cut short following the death of his parents, he finds himself the newly appointed 'vet' of the circus in charge of training the circus's new addition an elephant called rosie, working along side the circus's star attration Marlene, the wife of August the cruel and ruthless ringmaster, Jacob finds himself falling in love with her and struggling to leave the circus in one piece, which ultimatly ends in disaster for the circus.
Whenever I watch I film I alsways love to read the book whic goes with the film as I find you miss out on so much from not reading the book and this film is no different. there are so many wonderful and touching scenes in the book which are not shown in the film and in my opinion its a big mistake to leave them out, For example the part of the book where an older Jacob is desperate to visit the circus but is let down by one of his family member is truely heartbreaking. Another is where Jacob walks in on his roommate playing with himself which I found really funny to read and would have brought extra comedy to the film, but this was also ignored.
Also the title of the film 'Water for Elephants' also had me confused when I watched the film it seemed such a strange title, however when I read the book It was explained that 'water for elephants' is a circus joke. When Jacob asks for a job someone suggests that he should carry water for elephants, and in the book it is explained by an older Jacob that this was a nonsense job people in the circus joked about because it would be impossible to carry water for elephants because they drink such a vast amount of water. It would have been much better to have explained this to the audience because im sure other people were confused about this. The film does contain some really great scenes though, the one were we see August beat poor elephant Rosie always has been cringing and nearly in tears and watching the love blossom between Jacob and Marlene is perfectly shot.
The film does give out some great perfomance form its actors, it is particually nice to see Robert Patterson differ from his usual role as Edward from Twilight and Reese witherspoon also doesnt dissappoint with her charater as Marlene, the two working together successfully make a great pairing as lovers Jacob and Marlene. I was also impressed with the use of bright colours and extravenagent scenery in the film in creating the great effect of a extravagent circus and class of the 1950s.
All in all I would say this film is very enjoyable and although it is easy to perceive this as a chick flick it certainly can be enjoyed by men too, but i would suggest reading the book to this and the book in my opinion works better and as I previously stated you tend to miss things in the film which are written in the book whcih definatly should not be missed.
Summary: A good film with a great story line, but the book is much better