Movie review: ‘Water For Elephants’ a three-ring drama |

Movie review: ‘Water For Elephants’ a three-ring drama

Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
VAIL CO, Colorado
Provided by Twentieth Century Fox

What fans of Sara Gruen’s best seller “Water for Elephants” will make of the big-screen adaptation of the big-top romance, we can’t say.

Though if they find transcendent moments in the entertaining film, starring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson, it will be because they brought them into the theater and projected them onto the screen.

“Water For Elephants” is not, to borrow the Benzini Bros. Circus’ motto – “the most spectacular show on Earth.” But it is a class act.

Directed by Francis Lawrence and shot with smooth assurance by the gifted cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto, “Water for Elephants” makes for an engaging couple of hours of old-fashioned narrative rhythms and star shine with Witherspoon, Pattinson and Christoph Waltz as its doomed love triangle. And a stipple-faced elephant named Rosie, who may save a faltering circus, is riveting.

Beneath the familiar movie comforts, however, are more contemporary notions about beastly behavior, animal rights and human wrongs, which screenwriter Richard LaGravenese doesn’t overstate.

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