Saturday, April 23, 2011

Water For Elephants

The Film: Water For Elephants

The Actors: Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon, Hal Holbrook,Christoph Waltz, etc.

The Dealio: When one door closes, and vet student Pattinson (Jacob) is forced to shelve his dreams of a quiet life taking over his father's practise, a number of doors open. Forced from his home, Pattinson's Jacob takes to the road. The RAIL road. Where he- as merest luck would have it- winds up taking refuge on a circus train. Once the manager (ring-master and part-time bully August) cottons to the notion that young Jacob here is two inches away from becoming a veterinarian, Jacob's problem of where to go and what to do next are solved. The whole deal is cemented once Jacob claps eyes on Marlena, the ringmaster's wife and the mistress of all things 2-4 footed. What follows is a series of events that bring Jacob up to current times, where he is an old man, living on memories and some regrets.

The Grading Period: 4.71 pengies out of 5. For those who never read the book- and my spouse is one of them- this is a clear 5.0 pengies rated flick. But, see, here's the prob: I did read the book. This was a galvanising book: people react to it in strong, often inexplicable ways. And, although this movie went over 2 hours, it still managed to snip out some of the guts of the book that gave it 'loft' and had tendrils of emotion reaching out and wrapping themselves around your heart...which, sadly, the movie did not. Now this will sit poorly with those of you who have followed this blog over time. You will say: aren't you the same person who preaches at the pulpit of better editing? Yup, guilty as charged. Emphasis on the word 'better'. Prendie stated- when I remarked that they left out some of the more meaningful pieces from the book- 'Well, I guess they must not have been important.' I must disagree. That, plus...I am so sorry, but I just wasn't feeling the casting of RPatt in the role of Jacob. He did fine, but I could. not. peel my gaze away from his squinchy little eyes. Just didn't work for me. These twin sitches made the flick less satisfying than it might be for those who never read the book.

Lessons Learned: Biggie: There is just no excuse for cruelty, animal or human. It may offer some satisfaction in the now, but, given time, the payback can be brutal. Next this: sometimes, we think we know what the problem is, and use blunt force to solve it. Then, suddenly, we find out that the problem was a simple failure to communicate (as the Man With No Eyes would say). Lastly this: Just because you are growing old doesn't mean you have-or will- stopped growing.

1 comment:

  1. I forgot how much I love reading your posts. I'd love to get a couple of personalized book recommendations from you. My alone time is precious and short. When I'm finally alone and winding down at night, books are preferred over Netflix but the fear of wasting a few nights to find I'm reading a so-so book keeps me from them. Lately I've also been weary of books that will get me down. GOLLY did The Conspirator ever choke me up!