Dec 7, 2015

Movie Monday: Water for Elephants

Movie Monday is a new feature at Cover2CoverBlog where I talk about Book-Movie Adaptations. If you have any recommendations let me know in the comments. 

This feature may contain SPOILERS to both the books AND the movies so read carefully.

Today's comparison is... 
Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants 

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Publication Date:  2006
Water for Elephants
Staring: Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson
Release Date: 2011

Another Warning: SPOILERS AHEAD
Disclaimer: Both the Book and the Movie have animal deaths :(
I read this book a long time ago and absolutely loved it. It was dramatic and emotional and the characters were vivid and deep and overall it was just a wonderful read. When I saw the movie long after it hit theaters, honestly, I was not all that impressed. So here is why... (caution - spoilers)

In the book I loved the characters and the way the plot played out - it had flashbacks and revelations and these added to the overall theme.We  are introduced to the main character, Jacob as an old man in a nursing home. In the movie we do meet an old man but not in the same context. 

From there the plot continues into the circus and Jacob's story. In the book the circus is run by Uncle Al, a spiteful, angry, terrifying man. However in the movie, August runs the show and so we only really get one villain - that is fine, but Uncle Al and August together really did a number on Jacob and the story. I found this change to be acceptable but Uncle Al in the book was a presence.

Also in the movie Marlena is orphaned and taken in by the circus, obviously out of survival this is important, however in the books she made the choice to go to the circus by running away with August - making their relationship a very different one in the book. All that abuse in the book came out of her choice to run away, not because she was orphaned. Her character, I found, is drastically different in the movie because of this. 

A few other differences include: the reasoning and the plot surrounding some of the animal deaths were altered to better fit the tale woven by the book/movie respectively. And while we are talking about death, the movie also had August try to kill Marlena, whereas the book did not.

Overall the movie was a good one if you aren't comparing it to the book, but I LOVED the book. I laughed, I cried, I wanted to punch August in the face all the time. The movie characters just felt flat to me. I wanted the depth the book gave and in that aspect the movie did not deliver.

Have you read Water for Elephants? What did you think of the book? Did you enjoy the movie? Let me know in the comments.

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