Water for Elephants

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Vash01, May 16, 2011.

  1. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    Is there a thread for summer movies? If there is one already, the admin may want to move this to it. I did not see it, so I am starting this thread for Water for Elephants, and may start another one for Hanna.

    I saw Water for Elephants today. I thought it was very good. I have not read the book. May be those who read it will have a different impression. It was nice to see a movie about people and animals, without special effects, and long fights. Although there was some violence, it went with the story.

    I thought the acting was top notch. Even Robert Pattinson was very good. I liked his understated, compassionate Jacob. Christoph Waltz and Reese Witherspoon have both won Oscars in the past and they played their characters very well. I was wondering if they used strictly stunts for Reese or did she take some 'circus' training?

    The main animal Rosie was endearing. I am wondering if the book emphasizes Jacob's compassion versus August's cruelty toward the animals more than the movie did? I think I am going to read the book now.
  2. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

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    I haven't seen the movie, but the book definitely emphasized the contrast in the the way the two men treated and felt about the animals.
  3. BrokenAnkle

    BrokenAnkle Active Member

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    I liked both the movie and the book quite a bit. The movie did compress some scenes and there was more about Jacob as an old man in the book, but it probably would not have worked in the movie quite as well.
  4. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    They turned a very vivid, detailed, gritty book into basically The Notebook set in the 1920s. And Reese and Rob had absolutely 0 chemistry. They acted well, but their romance was utterly boring. They weren't believable, and that sucked. Marlena's age is never given in the book that I can recall, and she looked too old for him. Outside of that, Rob was okay and Reese was quite charming, especially in the circus scenes.

    I went because I love the book and adore Christoph Waltz, whom I think proved once again that he is one of the very best actors in the world. He's just amazing. Completely outshone the other two.

    It should have been grittier. The romance should have been believable. And the parts with Jacob as an older man... well, I can see how they wouldn't have translated into a movie well. A lot of it is just his thoughts in the book. But it's perfectly described and takes up a lot more of the book. Sara Gruen got a lot of praise for her portrayal of an older man in the book, and I was sad to see him reduced to basically a bookend in the movie.

    Rosie was totally spectacular. Wonderful job by the elephant.

    This wasn't horrible, but it was a disappointment. It could have been a lot better and had a lot more depth to it if they'd brought in the real grit of the Depression, especially with the 2008 depression still ongoing. There wasn't enough desperation. It was just a love triangle. And they had a few very obvious anachronistic moments - "Your parents were in a car accident." I don't think the movie would have been less accessible if they'd said 'automobile' as they should have.

    So, I enjoyed it overall, and loved Waltz's performance, but I wish it had been what it could have been.
  5. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    I have not read the book, but I can't wait to read it. I am going on a trip, and it will be the perfect time to read it.

    Mirichu, I can understand your disappointment if you loved the book so much. It's just hard to capture everything in a movie. About the age difference, I think it was meant to be there. Jacob is about 21-22, I think, since he was close to graduation when his parents died. Marlena has been around for a while, and she has been married to a man who seems like he is in his late 30's, for some years, it seems. So I don't have a problem with Reese looking older than Robert.

    About the lack of chemistry, my read on it is that even though Marlena likes Jacob and is even attracted to him a bit, she does not forget that she is a married woman and she has no intention of leaving her husband. Jacob also realizes that, so they are really suppressing their feelings for each other. Initially what attracts Marlena to Jacob is his compassion toward the animal (again, by contrast August's cruelty which obviously bothers her). Just before the two jump out of the train, Malena has to be convinced to join him - "whether you love me or not...you deserve a better life...." I am paraphrasing. So I don't see the suppressed feelings as a lack of chemistry between the two.

    It's just my opinion, of course.
  6. Badams

    Badams Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty sure that Marlena is much younger than August in the book. She married him at 18? So she would be about the same age as Jacob. Maybe a bit older, but not that much. Not as much of an age difference as there is between Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson. That always bothers me when I see the commercials.:lol:
  7. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

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    I haven't seen the movie, but my impression reading the book was that Marlena was older than Jacob. and it wasn't just a question of doing the math. I also didn't get the sense that there was even great chemistry between them in the book. I kind of felt like Jacob was a guy who took care of those who were being mistreated -- both animals and people. And, yeah, he was attracted to Marlena. But, I kind of got the impression that she just needed someone to help her out of her situation with August and wasn't necessarily feeling the chemistry with Jacob. So, it won't bother me at all if the chemistry isn't steaming hot in the movie.
  8. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    Along the same lines (age difference) - why must a man and a woman be the same age to fall in love and/or to marry? Nobody seems to mind it if Marlena looks younger than her husband, but if she looks older than the man she loves, people don't like it. At least that's the impression I am getting here. There are couples where a woman is older than the man by a decade or more and they have long lasting marriages.....or may be people just don't like to see it in movies? it did not bother me at all that Marlena was/looked older than Jacob (I don't know what the book says)
  9. Badams

    Badams Well-Known Member

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    It only bothered me because the movie is different than the book. I don't give two craps about how old either person is in a relationship.

    ETA: I sort of hated the love story in the book. It was really cheesy and boring. I thought the relationships each had with Rosie was far more interesting and endearing. Same with Marlena and her horses.
  10. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

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    Nobody said anything about two people having to be the same age to fall in love or marry. We were talking about whether the movie was different from the book. And, as I said, I haven't seen the movie, so it has nothing to do with how they look. And, as I also said, it wasn't simply about math. In the book, they seemed at two different maturity levels and stages in their lives. Whether it's a man or a woman who seems to be more mature, I do think it affects the way characters and a relationship are portrayed in a book. Recognizing this is not in any way a judgment about whether people of different ages should fall in love or get married.
  11. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    Badams and Allskate, thanks for explaining. I have not read the book so may be i drew the wrong conclusion.
  12. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    I finally bought the book but haven't had the time to read it. I will, one of these days.
  13. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    I haven't seen the movie yet (probably won't bother til it comes out on DVD) ... but I found that the love story between Jacob and Marlena was one of the weakest part of the book. I was never really convinced. So zero chemistry bw Reese & Rob won't really be much of a change for me. :shuffle: