Friday, April 15, 2011

Water for Elephants - Or snot from a vampire

Movie Poster

Snotty Love Scene

Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson share a much-hyped love scene in their upcoming film, "Water for Elephants," but the newlywed Witherspoon wasn't very impressed with her co-stars game.

Speaking about the movie, Witherspoon complained the leaking nose Pattinson was suffering while filming the scene.

"Rob possibly had the most hideous horrible cold of any co-star I've ever had to do a love scene with ever in my entire life," she told the magazine. "He was literally snorting and snotting through every second of it - and it was not appealing. I'm talking green, infectious, disgusting - I'm not kidding!"

Pattinson and Witherspoon

Set during the depression era of the 1930s, the romance is told via the flashbacks of a 90-something old man (played by Holbrook).

The story opens with Jacob on the verge of qualifying as a vet when he learns that his parents have been killed in a car accident and that he has been left penniless and without a home. And so he sets out to find work by jumping on a train that, unbeknown to him, is the Benzini Brothers travelling circus.

It isn’t long before his skill as a “vet” is put to use by head trainer August (Waltz), who is feared for his outbursts which have seen many workers “redlighted” (thrown off a moving train as punishment or dismissal). However, they lock horns from the start when he puts down a badly injured horse – the show’s star attraction – instead of putting it to work. While his action pleases Marlena (August’s wife), her paranoid and tyrannical husband flies into a fury.

Somehow they move on from the incident and Jacob is then tasked with training Rosie, an elephant, to help save the circus from financial ruin. While fulfilling his job, animal lover Jacob finds himself drawn to Marlena and their mutual attraction doesn’t go unnoticed by August. His act of vengeance against the betrayal proves to be August’s greatest undoing and that of the notorious circus.

The cinematography is praiseworthy with commendable usage of dark hues and a genuine recreation of the era from the costumes to backdrops. Broody characters are Pattinson’s forte – Twilight proved that. He plays his role with conviction but the lack of chemistry with co-star Witherspoon dilutes the efficacy of his performance. Waltz is magnificent in his portrayal of a mean-spirited and jealous husband. He straddles that fine line between playfully nice and, with a flick of emotion, intensely brutal, with aplomb.

No disrespect to Witherspoon, but, given her ├╝ber tame performance, she is simply along for the ride and not the plaudits.

With too many subplots feeding into the key storyline, it, unfortunately, bleeds Water for Elephants dry of any appeal or impact. What is left is a vacuous love story that sparkles mostly from the animated retelling by a spirited old man and the smattering of tongue-in-cheek dialogues.

If you liked…Titanic, The Notebook and Australia…you might enjoy this