Once in a while, my creative lobe latches on to a movie that sparks the brain to light up and energize my senses. Most recently, Water for Elephants – the book, the film and the CD soundtrack – has been the focus of my attention.
First, reading the book, I liked the era and colorful backdrop of the story. I have a soft spot for the circus, use to take my children to see the Carson & Barnes Circus when it came to town. I even had the opportunity to watch the elephants help in the setting up of the canvas tent. Okay, so I am a circus fan and the book was entertaining.
However, when the movie came out this is where my mind latched on and wouldn’t let go. The movie dances with magic, color, interesting complex characters, suspense. This is one movie that rises above the book. First time I watched the movie I focused on the story and visuals. Then I went back and began to really hear the music setting the moods, pacing the action, and beating the rhythm. Then a third time I began to dissect the characters, likable but with flaws. Some movies need viewing multiple times.
Instrumental music can put my imagination into high gear, must tap into my emotions. As I listened to the Water for Elephants soundtrack, I visualized each scene in the movie. I analyzed what worked. It became an emotional and intellectual study of storytelling and screenwriting, of developing characters, of rising conflict and the dénouement ending a story.