Wednesday, 13 February 2013
War Horse: 7/10
Release Date: 13th January 2012
Length: 2 hours 26 minutes
Beginning on a farm in Devon in early 1900, a foal is born in front of a young boy who lives on the neighbouring farm with his parents. The foal grows up to become a beautiful thoroughbred, but is separated from its mother when it is sold at the weekly auction in town. The boy's father falls in love with it and buys it with all the money he has, despite the fact that he needs a plough horse, not a show horse. The landlord knows the family is now out of money, and threatens to take the farm from them if they do not plough the field. The young boy resolves to train the horse and save the family, and teaches it to come when it is whistled to. He names him Joey.
War strikes, and the horse is sold to the army to make money for the family and to meet the demands the war places on the population of England. The whole film from here is a tale of how the horse trades hands from one person to the next in its journey from Devon to Germany, through Italy and France. The horrors of war, and the strain placed on horses in particular, are shown through the eyes of the beautiful thoroughbred.
This film, whilst obviously a war film, is more about the journey of the horse and the interactions he has with each person he meets on the way. Whilst some scenes show destruction and pain caused by the war, there is little blood and no "guts and gore" in this film. Any direct killing is cleverly averted through tricks of the camera, and therefore is not so horrible to watch.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching War Horse, despite the lenth of the film. We watched it at the cinema yesterday (18th January) but I think this one will translate nicely to the family screen for a nice night in with a packet of popcorn.
However, Jeremy Irvine is a newcomer to the screen, and whilst Emily Watson and Peter Mullan play the parents well, Benedict Cumberpatch and Tom Hiddleston shine through in this film as the General and Officer in the army, and David Thewlis plays an excellent landlord, I feel there really was room for improvement where the actors/casting was concerned. Joey the War Horse really stole the show and whilst he is played by 11 different horses throughout the production, each scene really makes you feel for the horse.
I vote it a 7 out of 10. What did you think? Please vote below and leave a comment with your thoughts.