Books into Movie: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

Water for Elephants

by Sara Gruen

Publication Date: March 1st 2011
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Format: Paperback, 421 pages

As a young man, Jacob Jankowski was tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. It was the early part of the great Depression, and for Jacob, now ninety, the circus world he remembers was both his salvation and a living hell. A veterinary student just shy of a degree, he was put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It was there that he met Marlena, the beautiful equestrian star married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. And he met Rosie, an untrainable elephant who was the great gray hope for this third-rate traveling show. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and, ultimately, it was their only hope for survival.


Seeing a book being turned into a movie is just so tantalizing, I’m a big fan of books that are being turned into a movie. I’ve recently watched Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen on DVD and I must say, they did an awesome job turning the story into a movie. If you haven’t read the book I think I can say that  you can just watch the movie because I cannot see any flaws on how the story was told in the movie, I think every single emotion that was in the book was captured well on the movie. If you didn’t know the book setting was in the 1930’s and I’ve been a big fan of the 1930s really, I think the writers of the movie and the author did a fantastic job with the research and the costumes and the language. I can say the same with the movie, I think Marlena’s sense of fashion was played well Reese as well as the whole cast. I also love the fact that the story was in Jacob’s POV because of his relationship with Rosie. 

Jacob had such a poignant connection with her that only he could describe it. I’m a big fan of Twilight movie and watching Robert Pattinson playing a very sympathetic and mature character makes me love him more. Every single emotion that Robert Pattinson exerted for Jacob’s character has really touched me. I think beside from the character I’m a big fan of the fashion of the era, I like vintage styles and I think that Reese Witherspoon is what I totally envisioned while reading the book.  Reese is absolutely beautiful no matter what. She also has that old Hollywood vintage beauty that made Marlena of the book so much better. 

The love of Jacob for Marlena is really passionate yes; I think it was depicted as precise as it can be. While watching the movie and by reading that I’ve learned new things, few things that you can never learn unless you experience it. It would be experiencing the Circus life, the way the story and the movie w as shown it was learning experience that I wish that there’s no discrimination between workers and performers. Perhaps it w as a sign of times then but it really goes to show how much that divide was rampant. Basing with what I watch on what I’ve read is something new for me, there are things I can never imagine that was in the movie and I think it was really good. In the movie they have music and the music that was being played through the entire movie was very nostalgic and shows how it is on the 1930s it lived up to my expectation of what that era has brought. 

Christopher Waltz is the perfect man for August, he is just the man that I imagine to play as the antagonist I think it helps that he has this unique facial expression that added to his villainous character. Over all fans of the book would really love to see this movie, it also added to the viewing experience that it has a bonus contents that came with the DVD like Raising the Tent, The Star Attraction, Robert Pattinson Spotlight, Feature Performer Reese Witerspoon. The movie was really portrayed well by the characters; I never thought that imagining books through reading can never be as precise in the big screen.

Water for Elephants is out on Blu-ray and DVD on Nov. 1st released by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment so make sure to get a copy.

Official Synopsis:


Witness The Epic Tale of Forbidden Love Starring
Academy Award® Winner Reese Witherspoon andRobert Pattinson On Blu-ray and DVD November

Take a journey back in time with the romantic tale based on Sara Gruen’s New York Times #1 Best-Seller novel of the same name, WATER FOR ELEPHANTS, coming to Blu-ray and DVD on November 1st from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Starring Academy Award®-winner Reese Witherspoon (Walk The Line), Robert Pattinson (Twilight series) and Oscar®-winner Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds), the film presents an epic tale of forbidden love in a magical place filled with adventure, wonder and great danger. Showcasing the decadence of a bohemian circus and the majesty of its animals against the backdrop and beauty of a bygone era, WATER FOR ELEPHANTS makes the ideal holiday gift idea for your favorite film buff, fashionista or book-lover!

Devastated by the sudden death of his parents at the height of The Depression, a young dreamer from the wrong side of the tracks, Jacob Jankowski (Pattinson), abandons his veterinary studies at 

Cornell University. With no other family, no house, and no money, Jacob stows away on a train carrying the circus performers of The Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Hired as a veterinarian to care for the troupe’s animals, Jacob is temporarily filled with the promise of an exciting life that comes with a traveling circus troupe. However, as he builds a rapport and falls in love with the star of the show, Marlena (Witherspoon), they become prey to the circus’s owner, Marlena’s violent and abusive husband August (Waltz). As the circus begins to crumble from within and against all odds, Jacob and Marlena come together and fall in love through their compassion for a special elephant. With their love on the line, Jacob and Marlena come to a crossroads that will forever change their destiny. 

Directed by critically-acclaimed filmmaker Francis Lawrence (Constantine), WATER FOR ELEPHANTS features fantastic supporting performances from Paul Schneider (Lars and the Real Girl), Jim Norton (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets), Mark Povinelli (The Polar Express), Richard Brake (Batman Begins), and Academy Award®-nominee Hal Holbrook (Into the Wild).

WATER FOR ELEPHANTS will be available on Blu-ray and DVD in the U.S. Pre-book is September 21st.

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4 responses to “Books into Movie: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

  1. I love when books get turned into movies ~ for this one…I thought the movie was so much better than the book. I do have to admit that I am always more attached to the books and tend to overcritize the movie though :/

  2. I do enjoy it when my favorite books turn into movies but I prefer one's that follow the plotlines than to the one's that cut off so many things. Besides I alaways prefer books to movies!

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