Where to start is the key question here. I read the book in two days and a day later went and watched the movie. I really enjoyed them both but I don’t think I would have liked the movie as well if I hadn’t read the book first and known all the little stories and the background on all of the characters. I don’t feel like the movie gave you time to really get to know the characters as well as you should. They are fun and theatrical and become some of your best friends in the book. You get the full story on Jacob and Marlena’s romance and how it develops in the book where in the movie it just seems like a couple of short conversations and touching is what causes them to fall for each other.
I know the movie didn’t want to be long but I think we missed a huge part of the book by not seeing Jacob as and elderly man in a nursing home. I was hoping they would have set it up more like The Notebook with having the flashes to Jacob in the nursing home talking or thinking about his time as the circus and then flashing back to the past when he was on the circus. You really fall in love with Jacob as an elderly man in the book and it also helps you realize how some older people feel when they are in a nursing home.
I think the movie was great. The acting was fantastic, they did an awesome job of bringing the circus to life, they went along with the book (for the most part), and you liked the characters you were supposed to like and you didn’t like the characters you weren’t supposed to like. I was just hoping for more. More of the love development between Jacob and Marlena. More of the reasons why August was the way he was and some more of the parts of why you hate him so much. More of Jacob as an older man. Of course, isn’t it always true that when you read the book before the movie you are always hoping for more??!! LOL. 😀 Guilty as charged!
I did enjoy the end of the movie where they did what was supposed to look like a black and white home movie of Jacob and Marlena after the fall of the circus they started on. It was fun to see those parts since Jacob had talked about them at the end of the book. I loved how the actors had to work with the actual circus animals, that was AWESOME! I was a little disappointed that one part in the movie never happened in the book and it’s a pretty big part! They did get a few events out-of-order and only one of the times I was irritated because it didn’t do justice in making the watchers understand why the two characters were now on good terms.
Now this is getting a bit long, sorry, but I have a few things I must reiterate that I either said in this review or my review of the BOOK or of the MOVIE. I don’t think I would have reacted the way I did to the movie if I hadn’t read the book. I mean from the moment it started (literally) I was getting goose bumps and tearing up. I think that by reading the book I was more attached to the movie and couldn’t wait to see how they played it out. I really do encourage you to read the book before watching the movie. It is a fast read that someone can read in a day if you have the time to just sit down and read it (or if you’re a faster reader than me which I’m assuming almost everyone is). I think that you will enjoy the movie if you haven’t read the book, I am biased and want to say that you would hate the movie without reading the book but I know that’s not true. 😦 My only hope is that you give the book a try because it is brilliant, beautiful and magical!