Water For Elephants

Christoph Waltz Robert Pattinson Reese Witherspoon cheers in Water For Elephants

Water For Elephants
Time/place: 1:45 showing at Krikorian San Clemente

I absolutely love movies :).  I don’t “find film a fascinating art medium to study and analyze for the sake of study and analysis”.  I love movies because I enjoy watching the ones I like and because they can be the most beautiful escape from life – even when things are going well.

Today I saw a movie :).

When I saw the first trailer of Water For Elephants, I was rather interested, but even if you weren’t swept away by the advertising, I might suggest you give it a whirl sometime, anyway.  Everything about the movie feels very “classic”.  The situation, the setting, the time-period, the music, and even the end credits (no scrolling)… when the movie was over, that opening bit of this post immediately came to me with this feeling that I had just seen a picture that embodies every classic nature of why I love movies.

If you’ve already checked out, simply because of our lead actor, I’m sorry to hear such a thing.  I like the guy, and feel sorry that he’s been swept up in a rather abysmal movie series, but Robert Pattinson is a fine young actor.  Everyone involved in Water For Elephants is.. and that was a big part of the movie’s original pull on me.   Reese, as always, is beautiful and alluring… and more than just a pretty face.  Then, of course, we have our “villain” – Christoph Waltz.  I’d only seen him in one other movie… but both times he has proven himself to be able to play a character that can be absolutely terrifying, yet (especially in this movie) still very much human.  I’m sure that’s also a credit to the writing and direction, as well, but you can’t pull that talent from someone who isn’t capable of it.  His character does some VERY unlikable things, but he’s not an over-the-top madman twisting his dastardly mustache and cackling (though they have their place in movies, too) – he’s a very believable human being with depth; and we all know how much I like that :).

Christoph Waltz and Reese Witherspoon in Water For Elephants

I laughed, I cried, I held my breath, and I walked out of the theater afterward with a big ol’ smile on my face.  There IS a romance, but I thought it was played very real.  It wasn’t some bland “Oh, this new guy has shown up and I’m tired of my life… the passions!  The uncontrollable PASSIONS!” and I liked it for that.  It made sense why these two characters were taking an interest in each other, and it all built up slowly.. and well.  As well as love, there is also plenty of hate and sadness – and there are a couple of very tense and hard-to-watch scenes.  It’s not graphic, really, but sometimes that’s the hardest stuff in a movie… something that relies on character reactions, sounds, and/or just the idea.  Those moments help the whole movie build, though.  Everything keeps adding on-top of each other, until the end just finally goes BOOM and it’s absolutely satisfying.  So satisfying, in fact, that the relief was tear-inducing… and you know me, I NEVER cry at movies ;).

Water For Elephants surprised me in ways I wasn’t quite expecting, and that made me love it all the more.  I’m bypassing the extended review today because I don’t feel the need.  My reviews aren’t technical or point-by-point analysis, they’re how I feel – a gut reaction of this movie-viewer’s thoughts.  I thought Water For Elephants was an absolutely lovely movie, and I am content to leave it at that :).  I, of course, recommend it wholeheartedly… and I hope you enjoy it even half as much as I did :).

Robert Pattinson with Rosie the elephant in Water For Elephants

Grade: A+

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About Mark Mushakian

Just a man who loves God, women, kids, dogs, movies, and every other lovely thing in life :)
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