Movie Monday is a weekly blog meme hosted by Taylor at A Booky Wonderland
and it features the last book you’ve read and how it could either be suitable for a movie, how it compares to the movie, or what you expect in the upcoming movie.
I’ve been waiting to do this one since I recently read Water for Elephants and later watched the movie. I completely forgot to do this yesterday! I need to utilize my sticky notes more.
I loved Water for Elephants. My grandmother told me to read it and also told me to watch the movie. She admitted she did not care for the movie, but I watched it with an open mind.
This movie was both good and bad.
Let me explain.
If the reason you enjoy the book is primarily for the love story between Jacob and Marlena, then the movie is wonderful.
If you enjoyed the book for the other aspects, like the hardships of the circus, the way the owner treated the men, the older Jacob and his nursing home rants, the joke about carrying water for elephants, etc… then the movie really leaves you hanging.
The movie captured the love story exceptionally well. I am not a fan of Robert Pattinson at all, but was thoroughly impressed with him in this movie. I also thought Marlena was exactly as she was in the book (but sadly, that’s not saying much as she was rather a dull love interest). In fact, I thought the entire cast was well done. Even the elephant!
The biggest thing that bothered me was Uncle Al. He was not there. They blended August into Uncle Al in the movie, which I did not agree with. The movie missed out on the dynamics and pressures that Jacob faced, especially after Marlena was hit and Jacob had to “get her to come around” to August, ordered by Uncle Al to save his circus. That whole section of the story really added to the depth of the characters. You realize how much Uncle Al would do to save his circus, despite what that means for the people who work for him, you realize how weak August can be, you become aware of his illness, and you see just how conniving Jacob can be when the situation calls for it.
I mean, there’s just so much that is missing from the story that I thought made Jacob a stronger character and made the life of the circus really hit you where it hurts. Like the missing horses and the sudden food for the rest of the animals… August didn’t just beat the elephant, either.
But as I said, the love story survived without these things in the movie and with a little bit of alteration to the story, like Marlena being kidnapped.
I loved the prologue and the ending of the book, along with the various scenes of Jacob in the nursing home as an old man. These were important to me and I am sad that the movie omitted these and changed the ending a bit.
The movie by itself is probably a 4 out of 5, but I’d only give it a 2 or 3 because of how much it was missing that mattered to me about the book.
Maybe that’s harsh, but I didn’t read the book (or watch the movie) just to watch Jacob and Marlena get together.