Water For Elephants


Director:  Francis Lawrence

Writers: Richard LaGravenese (screenplay) Sara Gruen (novel)

Major Actors: Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon, Christoph Waltz


Water for Elephants is the story of an old man reliving his glory days of being on the Benzini Brothers Circus by narrating his story for a circus manager after escaping from the nursing home. It starts out as him as a young man (Robert Pattinson)  in veterinary school about to take his boards, he is interrupted by horrible news of his parents dying in a horrific car accident. After his father’s veterinary practice and his home is foreclosed on by the bank, he has no where to go and starts walking the train tracks, only to jump on a circus train. Instead of being thrown from the train, he convinces the show master(Christoph Waltz) he is a vet and will work for him. He ends up falling in love with the show master’s wife and circus performer, Marlana, (Reese Witherspoon) and they try to keep their love a secret. Unable to keep it a secret, he is thrown from the circus, and does whatever he can to protect Marlana from her abusive husband. The movie does have a great ending and the old man ends up going with the circus to live out the rest of his days happy.

The film is in a non-linear fashion, going back and forth in time. I love this though. It shows how emotional the old man gets at specific parts in his life and it puts viewers in his mindset.  Had this movie been in a chronological order, I don’t think I would have found it as emotional.

When I first watched this movie, I could tell it was going to be an intense story because the old man asks if the circus manager has “Anything to drink besides apple juice.” When he hands the old man a scotch, you automatically know..




Lawrence, F. (2011, April 5). The Way Elephants Flirt. Retrieved August 8, 2014.

20th Century Fox. (2010, June 23). Retrieved August 12, 2012, from http://livewellnetwork.com/photos/Robert-Pattinson-in-Water-for-Elephants/7846365?photo=12


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