Recently I went to see the movie Water for Elephants after having read the book twice. I liked the book, not a mystery, but only read it twice because I'd forgotten I'd read it already and ordered it on my Kindle. It took me a while to realize I'd read it before and couldn't remember how it ended.
When I began seeing trailers for the movie I knew I wanted to see it for a couple of reasons, I liked the stars they'd chosen for the parts and it was filmed in a little town called Fillmore in California that I know very well. One reason it was chosen is because it has several old and still working trains and the downtown still looks much as it did during the '30s, the time period of the movie.
I thought the movie was good, certainly depicted the time period and life in a not-so-wonderful circus. A few things were changed and I actually thought for the better.
When I posted my thoughts on Facebook, on of my "friends" said that the makers of Titanic should sue them for stealing their plot. I truly scratched my head at that comment, later realizing that both stories are told from the POV of an elderly person retelling their story. Yes, there is an abusive relationship and the younger lover, but they aren't really anything alike, nor is the ending the same.
However, listening to a TV reviewer also say that he loved the movie and it reminded him of the Titanic, I had to think about it a little more.
First off, there are only so many plots and they've all been used over and over. Goodness, know we certainly reuse plots in mysteries, hopefully with refreshing twists and different characterizations. I thought the actors did a terrific job playing believable characters. What happened with the circus is a compilation of many circuses druing that time period. The author did the research well.
Another Facebook friend didn't like the fact that the hero (a veterinarian student who didn't finish) didn't stand up for the animals. I think the hero was naive and definitely a "fish out of water" who really didn't know what to do. The movie is more satisfying in this area.
In the particular showing I was in the audience clapped at the end. On our way out, we passed a group of older women who'd come together and were discussing the differences between the book and the movie and seemed quite happy with the changes.
If you've read the book and/or seen the movie what did you think? It's also a good lesson in the fact that when someone reads one of our books he or she might not have the same opinion as many others do.