Question: Do you ever walk into a theater soon after a movie opens and you discover they are now showing it in the "small" theater. That is usually not a good sign. Water for Elephants opened a week before I saw it and it happened to be in the small theater. I had a gut feeling that I wouldn't like it. I hate it when my instincts are right.
So, we have all seen the previews for Water for Elephants - with all the close-ups on the pretty faces of the actors. I am not sure if that is why I went and saw it. A part of me wanted to go because I heard many of my friends read the book by Sara Gruen and really enjoyed it. And part of me went to see if Robert Pattinson can diversify himself from his most famous role. Unfortunately, it didn't happen but I don't blame him.
The other actors in the film are two Academy Award winners: Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz. So, I was expecting to see some great acting from them but something was off. All the actors, even the two I just mentioned, were flat. So I don't think Robert Pattinson even had a fighting chance to show off a talent. Oh well.
I did choke up and got teary in a few scenes in Water for Elephants but when I see animal abuse - even simulated, I am a wreck. However, I think I was supposed to have more sympathy for a couple of the characters but none of them evoked enough emotion in me to well-up for them. The film started out okay but as the story unfolded as the circus traveled around the country, I became less and less interested.
Also, I must mention that there were obviously some scenes added in later. I hate it when that happens. I did not read the book so I am not sure if it was essential to the storyline; but it sort of irritates me when filmmakers go for an obvious "crowd pleaser" moment after the film has been shot. Perhaps they got some feedback from producers or early audience members. I am not sure how all this works when they have to do it but it can be horribly obvious to me, at least. How can I tell they did this? I cannot be a 100% positive but it was really noticeable when the hair and make-up is different on the actors and the scenes seemed forced.
Oh well, maybe next time Robert you will have better luck.
On the flip side - I do think the costumes were fabulous. I loved all the costumes and dresses that Reese Witherspoon wore. I have a feeling the costume designer might be nominated for an award or two.
My favorite thing: The animals.
My least favorite thing: The added scenes.
Did the previews ruin it by showing too much? Not really - lots of the scenes of the close-ups but it didn't really give away the story.
Length: 120 minutes
Review: 4 out of 10