Movie Reviews

War Horse: The little horse that could

By Wang DexianMovies - 29 December 2011 12:00 AM | Updated 13 January 2012

War Horse: The little horse that could

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Rating: 5 out of 5

The Cast: Jeremy Irvine, David Thewlis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Emily Watson, Tom Hiddleston

The Buzz: Adapted from the 1982 children's book by Michael Morpurgo and the 2007 play based off the book, Steven Spielberg, who was supposed to produce the movie, decided to direct this movie the moment he read the first draft of the screenplay by Richard Curtis. That's high praise right there.

The Story: Set against the backdrop of World War I, the movie follows Joey, a young thoroughbred who is sold to the Narracott family to plow land. He is trained by the similarly young Albert (Jeremy Irvine), who he forms a strong bond with. When the War starts, Joey is sold to the British Calvary, which takes him onto a journey that sees him serving on both sides of the war. thinks: This year is the rare year that we get not just one, but two movies directed by Steven Spielberg in the holiday season. And without a doubt, “War Horseis the better one out of the two.

The film features some masterful direction from Spielberg as the narrative centres around the horse, Joey, and his companions throughout his trip of Europe during the First World War Joey, quite remarkably brings out something in everyone who encounter him; from Albert to both his British and German military handlers.

Though there is a war in the film, it isn't necessarily about the war, per se. The film, in truth is really more about the horse, Joey, and the connections he makes with the people he meets through his journey.

These small encounters really bring out the humanity in the supporting characters and make for several heart-warming moments in the film. Additionally, to be able to coax you to feel emotions for a horse... it's just really quite something to behold.

The film is shot beautifully, and truly immerses you into a period when horses were used for everything; labour, transportation and yes, even war. Breath-taking shots of the European landscapes and a powerful score by John Williams make for an experience that honestly, we didn't want to end.

To sum it all up, “War Horse” is a throwback to how films use to be made. An emotive and powerful script with universal themes that will radiate with anyone, this film is one for the entire family.

Combined with stellar performances from a huge cast, wonderful cinematography and music score, this film is arguably Spielberg's finest hour since “Schindler's Listor “Saving Private Ryan”. Ladies and Gentlemen, they just don't make films like these much anymore.