War Horse: Movie Review

September 20, 2012 2:38 pm

Steven Spielberg, director/producer of many classics including four of five Indiana Jones movies, Saving Private Ryan, and Schindler’s List, creates another withWar Horse. The story of Joey, a one of a kind horse that starts life separated from his mother, begins as he is noticed by young Albert Narracott, mesmerised by Joey’s beauty and innocence. Owners are soon found, when Joey is sold to farmer Narracott through auction. 

Vulnerable Joey is now in good hands with the Narracott family. Farmer Narracott relies on his son Albert Narracott (Jeremy Irvine), to be the primary carer of Joey. Young Albert doesn’t disappoint as he raises and educates Joey to the best of his abilities. Needs are met, and the Narracott farm is taken care of. In time, this relationship blossoms and you really begin to understand the strong connection between the owner and his horse.

Just as Joey starts to get used to his relationship with Albert,  Joey is sold to a British army commander. This bond is broken but never tainted. Joey begins his journey as a War Horse and so WWI commences.   Separation is a key element within War Horse. It’s the one thing that brings the characters and audiences together. This heartfelt and courageous title presents a roller-coaster experience of emotions. Years fly by, and farmer Albert is now a British soldier fighting the Germans.

There are many examples in this movie that not only remind us animals have feelings, but just how human-like Joey really is. An extreme close up of War Horse Joey’s eye shows a reflection of a little girl coming in. However, expectations turn into disappointment and loneliness, as it’s noticed that Albert Narracott isn’t the one behind that only door of hope. This is an example of  characters and audiences uniting and sharing the moment. This scene, along with many others, is what brings Joey’s human-like traits to centre stage.

Albert and Joey

The war could be seen as a metaphor; a connotation to life’s many tests for Albert and Joey. This helps the audience to not only understand how, but why this production was given a courageous, epic, and yet powerful title. After all of the adventures Joey has encountered, you`re really left wondering if Albert and Joey will ever reunite. Will fate allow these two to walk the same path?

If there’s one significant concept that Spielberg brings to the table, it’s the value of friendship and love. As well as showing the importance of determination and fighting spirit. Audiences are no doubt going to find out they’re able to relate on several occasions during 146 mins of screen time. Join Albert and Joey on their epic journey of friendship, companionship and adventure to find out their destiny!

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  • I don’t entirely agree with this. Yes, the film was fantastic and Spielberg did a brilliant job of it, but please don’t forget where it comes from. War Horse is a book that was written by Michael Morpurgo and first published in 1982. Before being turned into a film, it was (and is) also a play that has amazed many. “If there’s one significant concept that Spielberg brings to the table, it’s the value of friendship and love.” I simply can’t agree with this, because Spielberg simply took someone else’s story, and the way the play was presented, and put it in motion picture form. Yes, the film was certainly spectacular, but you can’t put it all on him.

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