For a movie that’s not even close to as spectacular as the big top it depicts, Water for Elephants
is still perfectly watchable. Though the central romantic story is pretty standard and formulaic, the setting is pretty interesting; Hollywood churns out plenty of love triangles, but few of them are set against a Depression-era traveling circus backdrop. The movie also benefits from an ensemble of animal performers fleshing out the supporting cast -- though a word of caution to the sensitive: most of them are shown being mercilessly mistreated.
We’re introduced to the Benzini Brothers circus one dark night in 1931, as young Jacob Jankowski (Robert Patt...