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Fiction Fridays-Water for Elephants, the Movie

Posted on the 06 May 2011 by Shawndrarussell
We saw this beautiful and brutal movie based on the novel that I posted about a few weeks ago. This movie is one of the few times that I can say that it is almost as good as the book. Usually I am extremely disappointed in movie adaptions because I just don't understand their choices of what to leave out or add. In this movie, all of the choices made logical sense and did not deter from the overall book themes and messages. Seeing the 1930's traveling circuses come alive was a unique experience and totally fascinating. I also am really getting into what I like to call entertaining historical fiction, meaning that although the plot may be fabricated, the author does due diligence in their research to make the setting, characters' behavior, and themes to be authentic to the time so you really get to experience an era from a first-hand perspective. The aftermath of the Great Depression and the desperation of many of these characters really comes through in this movie. And of course, the classic theme of true love breaking down any possible barrier is one of my favorite themes, and this movie tells this tale in a believable, nerve-wracking, sympathetic way so that you can't help but root for the main characters. Speaking of, Reese did a good job although at times was a little stiff and tried to do the smoldering eye thing a little too much. She is more sexy when she is sassy, not when she is actually trying to look sexy. But Robert Pattinson knocked it out of the park, and I am not just saying that because I think he is handsome. He did not disappoint as I hoped this would be a big role for him so he could "break away" (even though he doesn't like when interviewers say that) from the Twilight stuff. He brings an emotional depth and vulnerability to the main character, and he can reveal layered emotion by saying very little--he just has a very expressive face, goofy boyishness, and good heart as evident by his interaction with the animals both on screen and off.
I highly recommend this movie and can't wait for Pattinson to do more leading man roles like this. Not only do you get a love story, but you get to take a peek at an important time in American history that gives you hope and inspires you to overcome any obstacles you may be facing in your own life. Anything is possible, and this movie shows us that in an exceptional done film.

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