"War Horse" A Movie
Worth the Ticket
by: Bobby McDonald
I want to think it was back last summer, when I went to see the movie, The Help, that I first saw the previews for Steven Spielberg's War Horse, but from the beginning, I felt it was one I wanted to see, and certainly, after a two and one-half hour viewing, I'm even more impressed. Many of you that have worked with animals and been reared on a farm, know what I mean, when I say that sometimes you're fearful when they "hit the silver screen." You're fearful that Hollywood will portray them as "Mr. Ed" or "Babe," instead of the natural role of animal heros. Well, my skepticism was certainly unfounded and I was rewarded with a film that portrays the animals in a natural role, accentuating their character and characteristics to portray drama on the silver screen.
War Horse is a World War I drama that follows the pre-war experiences of a young boy, Albert, who is reared on a poor European farm, where he trains the "rowdy" colt, he names "Joey." As a blooded colt that his drunken father "catches an eye for" at the local auction, Joey must be trained to plow ground for the planting of turnips, when the family is forced to near bankruptcy, when they can't afford to pay the cash rent to the landlord. But, Albert manages to accomplish the task with his training of the exceptionally smart horse.
However, it's that same poverty that forces the separation of Joey and Albert, when the army is purchasing horses for the war effort. In a parting gesture, Albert attaches his father's service banner to Joey, as a good luck charm and asks his rider to protect him in battle. Yet, soon it's Joey that takes the lead as the protector and finds himself moving throughout the ranks of the Allied Army.
Coming of age, Albert is called into service and finds the difficulties of war, death, and destruction, almost unbearable. Wounded and blinded, Albert and Joey are only feet apart in the ravaging bloodshed, and barbed-wire trenches of Europe. And, it's Joey who makes a memorable performance as he's caught in a mass of barbed wire in "No Man's Land" and causes a truce between the Allied and German forces, long enough for two brave young animal lovers to free him from his bonds.
The artfully portrayed movie features Jeremy Irvine ( a newcomer to the screen) as Albert, and also stars Peter Mullan, Tom Hiddleston, Emily Watson, Toby Kebbel and Niel Arestrap, in a moving tribute to the contributions of both man and animal in warfare.
Termed as "a journey of bravery, hope, and courage," the film is one you're certain to enjoy, and possibly shed a tear or two, as you witness the great sacrifices that have been made for our freedoms!