After so much procrastination, I finally decided to start reading Water for Elephants as my post-Valentine read. I am fully aware that the film has long been showed and since I knew it’s a book-tied movie I also passed the chance watching it.
Water for Elephants
by: SARA GRUEN
Fantastic storyteller and talented writer, Sara Gruen has managed to get her readers all aboard a bumpy, intense, shaky train ride full of emotions of colorful imagination. The plot is the story of Jacob Jankowski and his reminiscence of his life after he heard the sound of a door opening, followed with his name being called by his final exam proctor. He was supposedly graduating from Veterinary Medicine then, with a life fully planned ahead that vanished with the death of his parents and ended up with nothing that very morning of his final exams which leads himself tossed by fate hitching up on a rickety train that was a home to the Benzini Brothers Circus- Most Spectacular Show on earth or better described as train circus of America during 1930’s.
Carried away with the storytelling while I was half-way reading the book, I decided to set it down for a moment and searched the web for a safe download of a DVDRip copy of the movie. Sshhh! I know it is illegal and a “NO to PIRACY” sign was brightly blinking over my peripheral vision but would I be blamed if I am so eager to do a comparison with the movie? I guess not, so moving on… I got lucky and was able to find one in no time.
Jacob played by Robert Pattinson(a.k.a Edward Cullen of Twilight) the circus world he remembers was both his salvation and a living hell. As a veterinary student just shy of a degree, he was put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. For him, getting on the train was a perfect timing and he likes to believe that somehow his parents had sent it to his way. It was there that he met Marlena, (Reese Witherspoon) the blond and beautiful equestrian star of the show, who is married to August (Christopher Waltz), the charismatic, ambitious but twisted and harsh animal trainer / owner of the circus team. Working at the menagerie he met Rosie, an untrainable elephant and is believed to be the only hope for this third-rate traveling show that is struggling to play with life dealing with the early part of great depression.
Successful with downloading a copy of the movie, I didn’t waste a second to watch it after I finished the book. Since it is my post-Valentine read, I am still at the verge of feeling love in the air and with that, I am confused when I noticed the ambivalent reaction whilst watching the film. The story on the book was fairly fresh still and my expectations for the movie was high. There were actually some personal favorite parts of the book that were omitted on the film and not to point out changes on some scenes. Nevertheless, it would be of complete dishonesty if I say I didn’t enjoy both presentation of Sara Gruen’s writing. As a matter of fact, simply enjoying it is an understatement for that matter.
I love the whole story, it not just covered the most powerful emotion among us ordinary humans, but it shows us how living creations share this same kind of feeling. To be with the animals is an attachment that is so common yet so rare. With this book, I somehow feel sorry for the beautiful animals that are among the menageries all over the world in any circus crowd while otherwise they will be into the wilds, in their natural habitat, where they can truly live free. Little did we know that behind every outstanding circus performances and productions that we so joyfully cheered on, are animals that are suffering of pain from their masters due to training maltreatment. Over the years, we heard of thousands of stories of animals risking their lives to save their masters from all sorts of danger and sometimes death.
I feel good choosing Water for Elephants as my post Vday read and movie splurge. The book is a story that I might read again and the movie would belong to those that I would probably spend a day being a couch potato with, specially in month of February. I have a personal experience with an elephant which I wrote about in a previous post. Because of this, I fully understand and somehow connects to the story when Jacob Jankowsky narrates and described Rosie. If only they are not so gigantic as they are, elephants could have been good pets.