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Water for Elephants

Once there was a book club. Six men: Six books. Only one book ever received a perfect score, and only one member gave it. The book was Water for Elephants, and I thought it was absolutely beautiful.

I read that book during a period of personal pain beyond anything I’ve ever known. The scar tissue stretched so far, so deep, that the healing seemed impossible. Never in my life had I collapsed so endlessly into tears. Honest pain expressed honestly. It tore me to pieces, pieces I never thought I’d have the strength to find… let alone put back together.

While I fought publically to appear pleasant and content; in private I fought to simply live. In those dark and lonely moments I read Sara Gruen’s novel about an old romantic’s circus stories. To read a book about another troubled soul, his journey through despair, and his painful progress towards triumph comforted me beyond my words to express it.

When I was asked to give my rating of the novel in our group meeting, I cried through every word I struggled to whisper… and every word I meant. This book was there for me when I wasn’t strong enough to be there for myself. And for that I am infinitely penitent with gratitude.

Suffice it to say I was more than excited to see the film adaptation. All year long I’d paid attention to its progress. From its spot on casting to its magnificently crafted trailers I quietly waited with intrigue. Though I heard many bad reviews before I got the chance to catch my screening, I worried little. I, like of all of us, can only bring perspective to a picture. To this one I brought love, faith, and hope. With that triumvirate of emotional colleagues in my company I saw a film worthy of its title.

The actors were great. Their relationships were penned with such emotional intricacies I thought it more than a mounting task to portray physically. However, Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon, and Christoph Waltz brought the core together brilliantly. Furthermore, Tai offered the most star worthy performance of the bunch. Her role as Rosie the elephant was so touching I honestly thought her the fictitious beauty from the book. The sets, lighting, costumes, and screenplay collect to really enrich the performances they dress. The music is scored like every great soundtrack should be… as the sounds that speak the words which have none.

Of the film’s words that were said, these remain the most memorable to me: “you’re a beautiful woman, you deserve a beautiful life… it’s as simple as that.”

After all that pain, I’ve learned life can be beautiful again :)

My life at the movies.


  • MRcromanic

    Great Movie! That Reese does it to me everytime…

    • Anonymous

      Highest paid actress in Hollywood. She definitely is a stunning leading lady. Interestingly enough, while doing research for this piece I stumbled across one of the head scarves she wears in the movie up for sale and mass production. She seems to continuously be a fashion icon as well it seems.

  • Chris Elliott

    WOWZA! What a great review dude. This is the best MLATM in a while. I absolutely loved it. I can’t wait to see this movie now. Superb sir!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks. I love every single piece in the series as they are all bricks in the same home. However, so are corner stones, others average stones, and some carved dressings. This one is certainly foundational to the series. It is from the heart and I hope it helps others feel the hope I wished to portray. Thanks for the praise my man.

  • http://twitter.com/sabrina_camp sabrina

    wow I just got goosebumps, especially the last line.
    this was an AH-mazing book – thank you for introducing my book club to it :)
    can’t wait to see this movie!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks Bri-Bri. I’m so glad you liked the book, and I can’t wait to hear what you and Carly think of the movie :)

  • KWgirl

    I’ve wondered about this movie…should I go? Would I enjoy it? Sounds like I should. Hey, share the info on the headscarves:)

  • Anonymous

    Went to see this last night. What an incredible story. That one line will go down in history. It was such a pivotal line and moment in the movie. “you’re a beautiful woman, you deserve a beautiful life… it’s as simple as that”

    Sometimes It’s extremely difficult for me to watch a movie like water for elephants and see the lives of the characters unfold and feel an unsettling connection with them.

    //////*Spoiler Alert*/////////

    Right after they escaped the prohibition raid at the party and hid in the back alley. Right as the kiss happened I leaned over to amber and said “and now the feeling of guilt settles in” right then as Marlena pulls away I saw the look of guilt on her face, it was perfect acting. And I felt the guilt as if I was there, like I had committed the sin myself. That moment stirred up such painful and awkward memories of emotions It was so difficult to sit there and be forced to bask them as the scene played out. Excellent review, excellent movie.

    • Anonymous

      Didn’t notice this comment until now…. but it was great to be reminded of what an incredible film this truly was.

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