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