For love of a horse

The movie “War Horse” follows the story of a horse in WWI.

With its sweeping epic cinematic flair, the film “War Horse, directed by Steven Spielberg, is a beauty of a film. You can never call Spielberg’s style “daring” or edgy even. But when he is at his best, his films really hit the viewer right at the heart, which “War Horse” does very effectively.

The film is set in 1914 in Europe, on the brink of World War I. At its heart the film is about a boy named Albert who trains a beautiful horse by the name of Joey. They develop a connection to each other and grow a close bond as Albert trains the beast.

The two friends sadly have to part ways when Joey is sold at auction for use of the British cavalry’s war effort. Joey is the fastest horse in the cavalry, hence the soldiers have confidence in a battle victory.

The adventure carries on when German troops hiding in the woods attack, claiming battle victory, taking all the British’s uninjured horses. In the German unit, Joey is used to pull ambulances.

In a surprising turn, he is left behind and a young Emilie hides the abandoned horses on her grandfather’s farm.

What makes this film experience different is how the horse Joey is the lead character in the film. When Albert has to part ways with Joey, the young protagonist is forgotten and the arduous plot changes direction to the life of a military horse.

It sets up a very interesting cinematic experience and one that will have your heart when “War Horse” comes to an end. You will have to be made of stone not to feel anything after watching this movie.

Yes, “War Horse” is old fashioned and not as edgy as, “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” But it is a cinematically gorgeous film with fine performances by all the actors in the film. The performance by Albert’s father Ned was played with stoic elegance by Peter Mullan.

There is also plenty of adventure too. The war scenes that take place at “No man’s land” near the end of the film blister with the kind of dizzying visual array that brings back memories of “Saving Private Ryan”.

“War Horse” is a return to form for Spielberg after a tepid last “Indiana Jones” film and places the master right back in his element with an epic period piece.

“War Horse” is true movie escapism, and is a film where you are taken back to a simpler time. For two and a half hours this movie will make you forget about your everyday troubles and get caught up in a simple story about a boy and his horse. 

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