Thursday, 10 March 2016

Water for Elephants (Movie Review)

Good morning everyone!

Today I wanted to discuss the movie Water for Elephants which is a movie released in 2011. It was based on a novel of the same name by Sara Gruen, but I have never read it myself. I watched this movie because it has a female actress in it I like called ‘Reese Witherspoon’ and also a male actor I have liked since watching Twilight and decided it was time to see some of his other movies. Combined, I saw that as enough motive to watch it. 

Water for Elephants is about a man called Jacob who joins a travelling circus after his parents both die in an accident. Before he knows it all his money and belongings slip through his fingers, leaving him with nothing. When he joins the circus as a the man to tend to the elephants, he doesn’t know what he is getting himself into. He falls into step with an abusive owner, and falls in love with said owners wife. Things only get more complicated as he goes along… 

The characterisation in this movie was done perfectly. It was so easy to fall into step with all the characters. Like a character driven novel, this one focused more on the people and their love affair than having an action-filled plot. It would be so easy to believe they real people because we could understand all their decisions and motives.

What I also liked about this movie was that it touched upon animal cruelty within the circus which I thought was brilliant. More people need to open their eyes to the cruelty that they are paying their money towards. I know for a fact that my mother has never allowed me to (and know I am old enough to be aware, I doubt I ever will) go to a circus that includes animals. Because the only way to train creatures in a circus is by afflicting pain. The movie shows this best of all. It also falls into human abuse along the way.


The setting and scenes were shot beautifully. I could easily imagine I was in the allocated time period when I saw all the costumes, dresses and settings. I loved it. Reese Witherspoon was stunning, as always, and a really brought her character to life, as she usually does. I think Robert Pattinson did a very good job of his role as well. I enjoyed this movie.

BUT. 

And this is a very big BUT.


I head over heels enjoyed this movie until I did some personal background research myself. I couldn't believe that this movie turned out to be so hypocritical and backwards. Even though it was speaking out against the idea of abuse towards and humans and animals alike, they abused animals for this film. I haven't been able to comfortably sit through this movie since that discovery. It just seems too... betraying? Too sad? I just can't believe a movie which is calling out on all those things uses those methods for itself as well. 

New Video! My rant book review of Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater!



Olivia’s Question: Would you ever join a circus if you had the opportunity?

Olivia-Savannah x

23 comments:

  1. I didn't know this touched the subject of animal cruelty! Although to be honest I had no idea what this movie was about when it came out, and never I watched it :P... It's awful that they're such hyprocites!! What were they even thinking?? O.o

    Lipstick and Mocha

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    1. It does a good job of calling out on the issues of animal cruelty. I just wished it followed its own message as well.

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  2. Well, glad to hear that the movie itself was good but big ugh on the abusing of animals

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    1. I did enjoy the movie! Just wished it had a different history to its making!

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  3. Well, I guess I've fallen behind the times. I knew about this book and remember it was getting great reviews, but I hadn't read it. I didn't know it was made into a movie and that it starred Reese Witherspoon either. I really like her acting. :)
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal - Impartial, Straightforward Fiction Book Reviews

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    1. Doesn't mean you're behind times at all! I think you should watch this one, in that case! Witherspoon is amazing <3

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  4. Not really a Pattinson fan - the first Twilight movie was what woke me and my friends up from the Twilight-induced teen-stuper we had fallen into (as a side-note, there are little bell noises when he sparkles - like he's a pixie or something.)

    I don't know the facts, evidence, or circumstances, of the alleged elephant abuse in the making of the film - so I won't comment on that individual case.

    I *will* say that it *is* possible to train animals without cruelty - though this, unfortunately, is something rarely used; because it often seems quicker and easier to train animals with inhumane methods.

    I also have issues with the use of endangered species in entertainment, but that's a whole other discussion!

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    1. Hehehe I am going to pretend like I didn't hear that because I am actually a massive Twilight fan myself <3 And yes, the movies too! Although I can understand why some people wouldn't like them.

      I believe you, actually. It must be possible because many owners do it with their dogs all the time! But time is money, and I guess that takes a lot of time.

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    2. and people are lazy to the point of cruelty :/

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  5. I loved this book! I'd seen the movie, but I can barely recall much about it, to be honest. I think anytime animals are used in a film, there'll always be obvious and not so obvious abuse in the set, because, heck. They don't belong in the set. You know what I mean? They belong in the wild.

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    1. I guess I really do need to read the book then, as you and Lekeisha say I should! Going to add it to my TBR. I agree!

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  6. You should read the book Olivia! It's one of my favourites!

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  7. [ Smiles ] I had no idea that such a movie existed; thank you for bringing it to my attention.

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    1. I am always happy to introduce you to something new :D

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  8. Oh wow, I didn't know they abused animals to make that movie. That's horrible. Never watching it again.

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    1. It's such a shame that they did :( I was so surprised to discover that.

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  9. I read the book and loved it. I haven't seen the movie and had heard it was great- but now that you mentioned the animal abuse I don't think this is something I can watch. :(
    ~Jess

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    1. I will try reading the book, which I might be able to enjoy more...

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  10. I tried reading the book years ago but for some reason I just couldn't get into it. As for circuses... just like the film, I do not like most circuses because they focus on animals and abusing them or just parading them around as "exotic animals". That's the reason I don't like zoos. But as with zoos - there are those zoos that are there for the animal's interests, not the people, that I agree with it - there are some circuses that I enjoy, but they are not about animals, but about people pushing their limits and doing fantastic acrobatics without an elephant or lion. I do love those ones!

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    1. Yes, the ones which focus on human talents are something I can truly appreciate. But otherwise... I don't like the idea of animals being harmed for our entertainment...

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  11. I loved this book, but didn't know that the movie did that to the animals! That makes me so sad! Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

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