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Friday, April 22, 2011

Water for Elephants: Movie Review

By Tina Case

The obvious "Elephant in the pressroom" is whether the film, "Water for Elephants," will live up to the Hollywood publicity and stay true to the beloved novel. The enormous success of the book by Sara Gruen has a legion of devotees and book club groupies eagerly anticipating the release of the film. Add in the two-fang throng of Robert Pattinson fanatics and two Academy award winners and you have one of the most anticipated movies of the season. Will it live up to the hype?

The movie opens with nonagenarian Jacob Jankowski (marvelously portrayed by Hal Holbrook) reveling in the midst of a circus that has come to town. He plays the role of narrator much like Rose did in the movie "Titanic," of which the movie has many parallels. Jacob vividly recollects his personal account about the most "Spectacular show on earth" and his profound love story poignantly unfolds.

Robert Pattinson, while rather impassive in the Vampire trilogy, does chip away at that stiff shell and reveals a wider range of emotions. While not electrifying he is credible and holds his own in his portrayal as the younger Jacob in the movie. At the beginning of the story young Jacob is symbolically on the bow of his ship, ready to take on the world and graduate from an esteemed college as a veterinarian. But at the cusp of his final exams his professors call him aside with the horrific news that both his parents were killed in a car accident. In an instant his dreams for the future are derailed and his hope to join his father's practice is shattered.  (For the full review, click here on Yahoo! Associated Content where I am a Featured Contributor for Arts & Entertainment Reviews)

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