Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson and David Thewlis
146 Min./ USA / Drama, War
What more can you say about Steven Spielberg. The man is an icon in Hollywood. His films have always been solid and occasionally there are brilliant exceptions. Last year alongside the beautiful movie “The Adventures of Tintin”, he also directed the movie War Horse. The film is based on the eponymous children’s book from 1982.
Ted Narracott is a veteran and runs a farm with his wife and son. To be able to plow his land, he needs a horse. The moment Ted arrives on the horse market, he becomes impressed with a beauty of a young thoroughbred racehorse. The Horse is totally unsuitable for plowing the land, but he decides to buy him anyway.
His son Albert trains the horse. Slowly but surely a special bond grows between the two. Albert calls the horse Joey. Unfortunately, the harvest failed and Ted must choose whether to lose the farm or to sell the horse. The horse is sold to an English officer. The First World War just begun. Albert and his horse are torn apart without being able have a proper goodbye. Albert promises to find Joey and bring him back. We follow Joey and his different owners during the First World War. Anyone who gets to know Joey falls under the spell of the beauty of the animal.
That Spielberg is a great director, is beyond dispute. It is risky and brave to have a horse as the lead role in the film. Unfortunately this gives some problems. There is less depth than a well-developed character. In addition, it does not work very well that the ownership of the horse changes every 15 minutes. Extensive use of computer animation was used in this film, which you can notice quite regularly, unfortunately. Again Spielberg worked with the composer John Williamson on this film, who again made a wonderful soundtrack. War Horse is a great movie. No outlier, but plenty of quality.