Even though British actor, Robert Pattinson is best known as an American vampire, he has also started to prove that he is quite believable and capable as an American human. ‘Water for elephants’ cements his skills, whilst also providing a splendid amount of dramatic entertainment in the process.
But there's more to this film than merely witnessing Pattinson's evolution into a serious actor - In the centre of this drama broods a serious love triangle between Pattinson, love interest Reese Witherspoon and the surprise star of Inglorious Bastards: Oscar winner Christoph Waltz as another diabolical evil mastermind.
All three roles are beautifully realized, with the tension between them increasing more and more as the film nears its quite gracious 121 minute runtime. The forbidden love plotline plays out entertainingly intense and in this sense, might even remind viewers of a film with a similar sentiment, Titanic.
As most of the film plays off in a circus, there's a lot of glorious eye candy to behold both in the form of a colourful ensemble cast as well as realistically envisioned set pieces. The great thing about the film's backdrop is that nothing feels over-the-top and this gives the film an awesome degree of honest appeal. The circus is portrayed as a real business with its fair share of troubles and conflicts brewing underneath the glamorous exterior.
"The great thing about the film's backdrop is that nothing feels over-the-top and this gives the film an awesome degree of honest appeal."
Water for elephants can at times be a little frustrating and hard to watch (especially the few scenes of quite intense animal cruelty), but overall it's an impactful ride that will leave you satisfied due largely to a well rounded ending.
Highlight: Pattinson gets inducted into the circus by means of a very traditional 'ceremony'.
Rating: 4 Meerkat Tails