Sunday, November 18, 2012

Movie Review: War Horse (2011, DreamWorks Studio)

Rated PG-13

War Horse is a movie inspired by author Michael Morpurgo’s 1982 novel. Taking place in World War I-era England, the story focuses on Albert (played by Jeremy Irvine), and English teenager his horse, Joey. His father, Ted (played by Peter Mullan), son of a Boer War veteran and failing farmer, purchases Joey at an auction and Joey trains him to be a successful plow horse. When Albert’s father sells Joey to the army for the war effort, he is heartbroken. He begs Captain James Nicholls (played by Tom Hiddleston) not to take Joey, but to no avail. Nicholls promises that he will do his best to return Joey safely when the war is over.
Over the course of the war, Joey and another British horse, Topthorn, change hands several times, ultimately pulling heavy machinery for the German army where they endure injury and exhaustion. The war rolls on and Albert, now of age,  has enlisted and searches the battlefields looking for Joey. During one battle, Albert is temporarily blinded by mustard gas at the same time Joey, cornered by a tank, panics and stampedes into a field of barbed wire. Both end up at the same infirmary – will the horse and his boy finally be reunited?
War Horse is a beautiful, brutal movie addressing war, friendship and family. The movie never shies away from the horror of war – viewers see the inhumanity of trench warfare and mustard gas; there is human and equine carnage, and we see the emotional toll of war. Joey’s journey ties several storylines together. We see the difficult relationship between Albert and his father, the friendships Albert has at home, but most important is the love between the boy and his horse. We never stop believing that Albert entered the war with the purpose of finding Joey and bringing him home.
War Horse received many awards, most notably, the American Film Institute Film of the Year (2011) and Broadcast Film Critics Association Best Cinematography (2011); it was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture (2011); and for five British Academy Film Awards including Best Cinematography (2011).
Steven Speilberg is an award-winning director and producer. He has won Best Director Academy Awards for Schindler’s List (1993) and Saving Private Ryan (1998); his best-known movies includeJaws (1975), E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), the Indiana Jones movies with Harrison Ford (1981-2008), andJurassic Park (1993). His is also a co founder of the DreamWorks movie studio.

No comments: