Tuesday, 21 February 2012

War Horse (2011) Movie Review


Dartmoor,1914: To his wife's dismay farmer Narracott buys a thoroughbred horse rather than a plough animal, but when his teenaged son Albert trains the horse and calls him Joey, the two becoming inseparable. When his harvest fails, the farmer has to sell Joey to the British cavalry and he is shipped to France where, after a disastrous offensive he is captured by the Germans and changes hands twice more before he is found, caught in the barbed wire in No Man's Land four years later and freed. He is returned behind British lines where Albert, now a private, has been temporarily blinded by gas, but still recognizes his beloved Joey. However, as the Armistice is declared Joey is set to be auctioned off. After all they have been through will Albert and Joey return home together?


Horses fought too.
I was expecting this movie to be just another extravagant sentimental potboiler. Wow, was I surprised. This is a great movie. The title says the movie is about a horse, but it's really about a lot more than that. The horse plays a central role but the humans figure in the story too, in a big way. The cinematography is outstanding; it really conveys the bleak, gory nature of war. The movie alludes to the Battle of the Somme which is one of the costliest battles in history in terms of the sheer number of lives lost. at times the movie does lapse into sentimentality but in general the story proceeds at a fast pace (pun intend3ed). The performances of the horses in this movie are impressive. They are stars in their own right. If the movie accomplishes nothing else, it shows that war is hard on animals too, and like the humans, they are victims too; there was never a horse that wanted to go to war. That any horses survived at all in the war is amazing. Anyway, this movie is well worth watching

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