DreamWorks Pictures’ “War Horse,” director Steven Spielberg’s epic adventure, is a tale of loyalty, hope and tenacity set against a sweeping canvas of rural England and Europe during the First World War. “War Horse” begins with the remarkable friendship between a horse named Joey and a young man called Albert, who tames and trains him. When they are forcefully parted, the film follows the extraordinary journey of the horse as he moves through the war, changing and inspiring the lives of all those he meets—British cavalry, German soldiers, and a French farmer and his granddaughter—before the story reaches its emotional climax in the heart of No Man’s Land.
The First World War is experienced through the journey of this horse—an odyssey of joy and sorrow, passionate friendship and high adventure. “War Horse” is one of the great stories of friendship and war— a successful book, it was turned into a hugely successful international theatrical hit that is currently on Broadway. It now comes to screen in an epic adaptation by one of the great directors in film history.
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As you all know I attended the War Horse Premiere in NYC a couple of weeks ago and now I can finally tell you my thoughts on the movie. First and foremost I must say that this movie is rated PG-13 and while normally I’m pretty easy going with what I let my kids watch I won’t let them watch it for a few more years. Gabriel is 10, but very sensitive and a few scenes in the film I think would just hurt his heart. I also must say that these scenes were necessary to help you feel what this amazing horse Joey is going through. There is NO BLOOD in those scenes so it’s not gory it just tugs on your heart strings. Now that I have that out of the way let me tell you a bit about the film.
War Horse begins with a simple enough story. A father buys a horse. He spends a bit too much for the horse so the horse HAS to perform. The son, Albert Narracott (played by Jeremy Irvine) develops a deep connection with the horse Joey. Joey becomes his brother in a way and from there and throughout the film they help and watch out for each other. Then War happens. War separates them and the rest of the film is told through the perspective of Joey the Horse. His triumphs and his misfortunes while he is a War Horse. This amazing horse connects to almost everyone he meets both animal and human. With any War there is heartache and as a viewer you find yourself cheering through the good times and hiding your head during the bad. The film progresses until Albert has also joined the war himself trying to find his special horse. I won’t go into the ending, but I will say that you WILL be happy with the ending. You will emotionally drained, but in a good way. As only Mr. Spielberg himself can.
One thing you’ll notice is how beautiful everything is. The sunset towards the end of the film is entirely real and entirely breathtaking. The wardrobe and set makes you feel like your back in time and the actors themselves are magnificent. I truly believe that when Oscar nominations come out you will be hearing War Horse mentioned more than once. So if your looking for a great date night on Christmas after you’ve dropped the kids off with Grandma and Grandpa then go see War Horse. Let me know what you think!