The acclaimed War Horse play and children’s book is now on the big screen! War Horse is a heartwarming tale about a father who buys a horse for his son on a whim. His son, Albert played by Jeremy Irvine, develops an unbreakable bond his horse, Joey. However, World War I approaches, and Joey is drafted into the military. Will the two ever reunite?
The movie has a charming story. When I interviewed the author of the children’s book War Horse, Michael Morpurgo, he told me that his book shows how war does not only produce a severe effect on people, but with animals too, specifically horses. It is interesting watching director Steven Spielberg’s translation of that theme onto film. One notable scene shows the horse, Joey, galloping fiercely through no man’s land, but is forced to slow down after he is tangled in a bunch of wires. After intense war, both opposing sides come together to untangle the horse! I found it touching because it shows that it takes both sides to solve a problem, and when the movie shows both soldiers cutting the wires from the horse, I thought of it as a symbol like they were ending their conflicts between each other. The cinematographer, Janusz Kaminski, filmed the scene beautifully, which helped produce such an emotional effect on the audience.
The cinematography in general is wonderful, especially when Kaminski zooms in the feet of the horses and the faces of the horses as they gallop across the vast fields. Most of the beauty of the movie comes from the horses, and I think the horse trainers did an impeccable job, particularly ZelieBullen since she trained the main horse, Joey. I recommend this movie to teens ages 13 and up. It is a pleasant family film because it is not too brutal, yet it still packs in all of the action and intensity of war. The movie is a bit slow in the beginning, so younger teens may get bored, but it quickly picks up the pace as the war begins. This is a moving tale to watch and will bring the entire family together for the holidays.
Reviewed by Gabriella Chu, age 15, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
Video Review available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWkcjuxuJRw