This had all the makings of a classic romance and the sumptuous canvass of the circus beautifully filmed to support it. In many ways it reminded me of Titanic, and not just because some of the events were inevitable. Two young lovers find one another but are being kept apart by another the women is promised to. However, unlike Titanic, I at least understood why Witherspoon’s character was with Waltz’s (unlike Winslet and Zane). What Elephants was missing, however, was that ephemeral, alchemical spark that a cast and director sometimes achieve on the screen.
Everyone did a solid job in this film acting-wise. Especially the supporting players. But the screen never smoldered when our young lovers were together. Even the poster was hotter than their presence on screen. While both are pretty phycially and by character, Pattinson and Witherspoon just don’t have the necessary chemistry that could have made this film a huge success. Hal Holbrook, who frames the story, has more presence than they did.
Waltz was an interesting conundrum for me here. He is exceedingly talented, and at first I really was impressed with his performance. However, it started to ring a bit off by the end and almost echoed his turn in Inglorious Basterds. I don’t know if it was the accent or the direction, but having seen him in Carnage so recently I found this character a bit false.
As a light romance, which admittedly belies some of the darker sides of the story, this movie works perfectly fine, but it won’t become your go to movie for a night of cuddling with your honey.