Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Water for Elephants

A young veterinary science student (Robert Pattinson) joins a circus and falls in love with the star performer (Reese Witherspoon) who is the wife of the circus owner (Christoph Waltz).

The plot of Water for Elephants is a bit of a pot boiler relying on cliche situations and convenient co-incidences for it's twists and turns. All of this could have resulted in a bit of B-grade fluff but instead the makers have produced an above average and interesting film. The background on circus life in depression era USA is beautifully and chillingly portrayed. There are some distressing scenes.

Although Witherspoon has the star billing it is really Pattinson's film. He narrates most of the story which is told from his perspective and he appears in nearly every scene. I've not seen Pattinson in a film previously and until now was not especially impressed by his media appearances but I think he does quite a reasonable job here. It looks to me that Pattinson has his limitations as an actor but he seems suited to this role.

The rest of the cast perform admirably with Waltz a standout. Waltz has an amazing capacity to blend charm with menace, a skill which deservedly won him an Academy Award for Inglourious Basterds and he repeats the effort here.

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