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Water for Elephants - Triple Play (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy)
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Academy Award® winner Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson give mesmerising performances in this visually stunning and epic romantic drama, which tells the powerfully emotional story of two people who pursue their love against all odds, rules and conventions, set in the alluring and enigmatic world of a travelling circus.
"A slice of pure Hollywood escapism"--The Sun
"Glorious piece of romantic drama"--Sunday Mirror
"A sensational romance"--Star
Sara Gruen's bestselling novel comes to glossy life in this period romance. A sparkle-free Robert Pattinson plays Jacob Jankowski, who studies veterinary medicine during the Great Depression. After a family tragedy, he loses everything, including the chance to graduate from prestigious Cornell, so he hops a train, where he finds himself part of the struggling Benzini Brothers Circus. Ringleader August (Christoph Waltz, echoing his Oscar®-winning Inglourious Basterds performance) has doubts about the softhearted lad, but a fellow Pole smoothes the way, and Jacob becomes the company vet, which leads him to platinum-blonde equestrian Marlena (Reese Witherspoon), August's wife. The two make eyes at each other, but an affair would surely end badly, so they concentrate on their work. When Marlena's prize steed falls ill, August purchases an elephant, hoping Rosie will turn their fortunes around, and enlists Jacob to train her. Unfortunately, she's slow to respond to commands until Jankowski unlocks her secret--and after August has beaten the poor thing into submission. After that, things start to look up until Jacob steals a kiss from his dream girl. As in The Notebook, the film it most closely resembles, an elderly version of the central character (Hal Holbrook, touching) narrates in the present day (screenwriter Richard LaGravenese also adapted The Bridges of Madison County). He tells an interesting tale, so it's too bad the leads strike so few sparks. For those who find big-top classics like Nightmare Alley too dark, however, Francis Lawrence's feel-better variant may be just the ticket. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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A young man runs away when he looses everything and fate leads him to join a circus, working with the animals. His attention is drawn by Marlena, the boss’ wife. When an elephant named Rosie joins the circus, Jacob has the excuse to work closely with Marlena. But the boss has a temper and he regularly beats his animals, including Rosie. Jacob refuses to accept that, and as he falls in love with Marlena, he refuses to leave her with such a cruel man.
I never thought the combination of Reese Weatherspoon and Robert Pattison would work, but the two bring the forbidden love of Marlena and Jacob to the screen with authenticity. Perhaps it is due to lingering looks rather than anything more than that, but they made the characters feel real. Jacob was a favourite for me (which surprised me as I don’t normally like Pattison’s acting). But the character had depth and both felt and cared for the animals as much as the people. I’m always a sucker for the animals, so the fact he defends them makes him likeable for me.
The animal trainers on this film deserve a huge round of applause. Most of it focuses on Rosie the elephant, but she was definitely the star of the show – plus a truly beautiful animal. The use of animals is highly effective for the innocence and intelligence of this animal is shown clearly, as is the abuse she must suffer at the hands of her master.
All in all, this film surprised me. I didn’t know what it was about but found myself caught up in the storyline and wanting the lovers to be able to escape from their cruel existence and find happiness. I can’t compare to the book, but the depth of characters and the emotions shown in the film alone makes me think it could be a powerful read. This film had certain charm to it!
I liked everything about "Water For Elephants" - an unusual and yet believable romance between a lowly stable boy (Robert Pattison) and an Elephant Dame (Reese Witherspoon) overseen by a maniacal and jealous Circus boss (Christaph Waltz).
It's also such sumptuous viewing. There's hardly a scene where you don't think - I want this on 'DVD'. No - you have to see it on BLU RAY - the colours, the textures and feel of the stables and the marquees and the travelling life on the train exploding off the screen all the time. People wanting to escape their bondage from class, from oppressors...
You should also note that the 'US' 20th Century Fox BLU RAY is REGION A LOCKED - so it won't play on our machines unless they're chipped to be 'all regions' (which few are).
Go for the 'UK' variant instead. It's also part of Amazon's value for money '2 BLU RAYS for £10' deal. Pair it with "The Help" or "Frida" or "Anonymous" or "The Way Back" - and you've a varied night's viewing ahead of you...
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