WATER FOR ELEPHANTS – I am not a huge fan of romantic-drama flicks but I think I have to break my own rule this time and make an unimportant fine-tuning because Water for Elephants is unquestionably an outstanding cinematic gem one must see. I’m going to start this review by commending the ensemble who were marvellously brilliant in their individual roles. The whole film revolved around 3 characters and I love how each one of them are idiosyncratic, interesting and relevant. The choices in terms of the celebrities who played these 3 vital elements are just what the doctor ordered. It’s like the characters were created exclusively for them. The casting director must be proud and blissful for making such an intelligent decision.
Robert Pattinson proved that he is more than a ‘Twilight’ sensation. It wasn’t the best performance I’ve seen but I think I can forgive him because, in a way, his portrayal was very convincing and I was very impressed how he managed to take me out of the Twilight association and smoothly transformed himself to a different character (Daniel Radcliffe needs to get some pointers from Robert). It is excellent for a starter; I just hope he gets more serious roles like this in the future because this guy has so much potential in him. Was it an Oscar-worthy performance? Let’s put it this way, if Jesse Eisenberg’s lame acting in ‘The Social Network’ earned him a nomination early this year, it’ll be a disaster not to recognize Pattinson’s performance in this film. However, the Academy ignored Leonardo Di Caprio (twice – Inception and Titanic) previously and, in comparison, Robert and Leo share the same acting style so it is very uncertain at the moment. Nonetheless, it was a good boost for his acting career.
As for the film’s lead actress, Reese Witherspoon, it was, without a doubt, one of her best on-screen performances. Even though it was palpably a Robert Pattinson starrer, Reese gave a notable performance and I am keeping my fingers crossed that this movie will give her another Best Actress award. She has a good screen presence and she, as you would expect, played her role on a different league. Her eyes were very communicative and even without dialogue; you can feel the intensity, the power and the sincerity in her portrayal. Easily, one of the most remarkable performances of the year. Same goes with Christopher Waltz. As the film’s baddie, he actually owned most of the scenes especially the climax (no spoilers I’m afraid!). Very powerful performance and, same with Reese, I am hoping the Academy will be sensible this time (after ignoring Geoffrey Rush last year) and give the Best Supporting Actor award to a deserving performer. Effortless and solid acting – AMAZING!
The acting is definitely the film’s best asset although the other aspects were also commendable. The production design is brilliant. Very detailed and flawless. The musical scoring is far-fetched. It was clean, smooth, well-orchestrated and genius. The beginning and the end reminded me of Titanic and, if given the appropriate and enough lobbying, this could be an award-winning masterpiece.
So what did I learn from this film? Two things really… One is about animal cruelty. Very straightforward – – be kind to animals. They are living creatures and they do share the same emotions as us, the human beings. They feel pain, they can feel suffering. They know who treats them well and they know who doesn’t. They can be your most loyal friend but they can also be your worst enemy. Pretty much like humans for short. And secondly, love. Love is perpetual. Love is all about fighting for that right person. Love is about looking for that other half that’ll complete you. Love is not measured by money or material possessions, it’s about that instant connection you built between you two and how can this burgeon into something that can make each one of you a better person. I’ve learned that love knows no rules. Once it hits you, you create your own rule and fight till the end. Very heart-warming ending and my favourite line from the movie : “When two people are meant to be together, they will be together. It’s fate.”