Water for Elephants- -
In this captivating Depression-era melodrama, impetuous veterinary student Jacob Jankowski joins a celebrated circus as an animal caretaker but faces a wrenching dilemma when he's transfixed by angelic married performer Marlena.
Water For Elephants tells the story of a boy (or man rather) who runs away with the circus. Jacob, a veterinary student decides to abandon his studies after his parents are killed. He joins the circus and becomes their veterinarian. While in the interview, he comes clean and tells his wealthy, future employers that he did not complete vet school. They launch into a series of stories about the many ways that they have duped the public through false advertising, misconception and trickery. While working as a circus veterinarian, he meets an animal trainer (August) and his wife, Marlena.
One of the key features that stands out about Water for Elephants as far as this family movie review is concerned, is that it destroys every fantasy anyone ever had about the circus. After the speech during the job interview where the owners tell that the fat lady is not really 800 pounds but only weighs 400, that the tattooed lady was not tattooed by natives in Borneo, or that they once passed off a pickled rhinoceros as real, it is all over. They tell these tales while drinking Champaign surrounded by opulence and elegant splendor. The message: it is OK to gain wealth and fortune by taking advantage of the “United States of Suckers.” After your child sees this movie, they will never look at the Circus in the same way again.
The story is about following your destiny and fulfilling a fantasy. It is a romantic drama that shows kissing, romance, violence, and threats. The romantic interludes form the key focus of the movie. The end of the movie contains a violent and very frightening circus tragedy that both adults and children will find disturbing. As an adult, I found this film to be interesting and engaging. The plot was original and the characters were deep. However, as a parent, this parental guide to the movies has to recommend considering it an adult date night. Teenagers would find it an interesting twist. There was nothing in the Water for Elephants movie that was too much for teens, but I would not take children under the age of 13 to see, more for the frightening scene in the end and thematic elements than for the adult romantic elements.