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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

‘Water for Elephants’ chemistry disappoints

Forget about the blonde, beautiful Reese Witherspoon. In Robert Pattinson’s latest film, “Water for Elephants,” his chemistry instead sparks with a gray, wrinkly, three ton elephant named Rosie.

After much anticipation, “Water for Elephants” hit theaters Friday, only to disappoint.

The plot moves slowly and the romantic chemistry between Pattinson and Witherspoon seems forced.

“Water for Elephants” manages to drag on for two hours, yet it feels like four. Leaving open gaps with missing information and scenes filled with little conversation, much of the movie could’ve been cut out.

Audience members gain an up close look at Pattinson’s character Jacob’s love for elephants when the circus acquires an elephant named Rosie. The connection between Jacob and Rosie may have been the film’s only saving grace.

Based on Sara Gruen’s New York Times best-selling novel, the film focuses on Jacob, who recently lost his family during the Great Depression.

Jacob flees from his home and leaves his schooling behind, hoping to run away from his problems. Jacob jumps on a train owned by the Benzini Brothers Circus, and becomes an animal caretaker. Along the way, he falls for the owner’s wife and circus’s main attraction, Marlena (Witherspoon).

Witherspoon completely morphs into her character as a battered wife caught between the life she leads and the life she wants to live.

Pattinson gives a weary performance, and the only time he doesn’t look like he is in pain are in his scenes with the animals.

Though the movie lacks a strong male lead with Pattinson, Christoph Waltz gives a stunning performance as August, the emotionally unstable circus leader. Waltz leaves the audience seething in anger at how harshly he treats Marlena and the animals.

Showing the ups and downs of a circus during the Great Depression, the scene where August brutally beats Rosie the elephant is difficult to watch. Animal rights activists should think twice before seeing this film.

It’s not until the end of the film when the plot begins to pick up steam. But, it’s too little, too late.

“Water for Elephants” admirably attempts to depict a man’s love for an elephant and a woman. With a slow paced plot and obvious lack of chemistry between Witherspoon and Pattinson, save your gas money and wait for this film on NetFlix.


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  • J

    Johanna (Swedish Amazon)Apr 27, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Robert Pattinson is just so cute and gorgeous! Even though I have a boyfriend, I’d still be a cougar for him! OMG I can’t wait for Breaking Dawn!!! OH YEAH BABY!!! :)

    treated myself to a thai massage today and am still giggling over the female masseuse’s major fascination by my BIG beautiful butt hahha… It’s mesmerising!