Water For Elephants

If Robert Pattinson is to escape the large shadow cast by Edward Cullen – his Twilight character – it’s going to take more than period drama Water For Elephants.

Miscast and showing little range, he doesn’t make much of an impression in a film that, while visually beautiful, lacks emotional resonance.

Told through a flashback, Water for Elephants focuses on the turbulent life of veterinary student Jacob (Pattinson) who, during the Great Depression, suffers a personal tragedy and hops aboard a circus train. The owner of the circus, August (Christopher Waltz) gets him to look after the animals, including Rosie, an unhappy elephant.

While caring for the depressed pachyderm, Jacob develops a bond with Marlena (Reese Witherspoon), the star of the show and wife of August – a man who needs little excuse to blow his top.

With director Francis Lawrence creating an intoxicating world filled with colourful circus folk, Water For Elephants has the ideal backdrop for a great romantic drama. Sadly, neither Pattinson nor Witherspoon are convincing in the lead roles; their romance simply not ringing true.

It is left to the brilliant Waltz to save the film, acting Pattinson off the screen in the process.


Good for: Fans of carnies and all their colour.

Watch the Water For Elephants trailer.


– Pierre de villiers