Have you ever participated in National Novel Writing Month? It’s a fun program that happens every November, where folks just like you and me furiously try to write a novel in one month.
I’ve done it and so has Sara Gruen, but her participation is so much more noteworthy than mine. The book she wrote was called “Water for Elephants,” which was made into a movie starring Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz.
In the movie, Pattinson is a depression-era veterinary-school student. When his Polish immigrant parents are killed in a car accident, he packs a bag and jumps a train to anywhere.
Fate puts him on a circus train, where he finds work, sustenance and hearty, if untrusting, companionship. The show beneath the big top may seem glittering to audiences, but behind the scenes, Waltz’s character rules with an iron fist, often throwing workers off of his moving train when he would prefer not to pay them.
Still, the new circus vet manages to befriend the tyrant and his wife, the beautiful main attraction. Can you say love triangle? I certainly can. The film is so much more, though, calling to mind newer classics like “The Notebook” and “A Walk in the Clouds.”
You’ll just have to trust me; forget about those “Twilight” movies and go see this picture.
The film occasionally varies from the book’s version of events, but I thought decisions were made wisely. There were several powerful instances during the film when audience members literally went “ooo,” “ahh,” or winced aloud; and yes, male members of the audience are included!
I’m a big fan!