War Horse - directed by Steven Spielberg
|Picture from http://www.warhorsemovie.com|
The film begins in Devon with an exquisite journey over summer fields. A teenager crouches in the grass, looking at the birth of a foal. Then we see the newborn and his mother with Albie (Jeremy Irvine) in his crouching position watching his future equine companion. The inevitable happens and Joey, the horse, is bought by Albie’s alcoholic father played with great vulnerability by Peter Mullan. The harvest lies ahead, crucial income to Albie’s family who are constantly chased by their heartless landlord, another exceptional display from David Thewlis. The best performance was by Niels Arestrup, who’s portrayal of a loving French grandfather delivers the film’s touching conclusion. His acting at the end of the film will bring teardrops to even the hardest of souls in cinemas. His granddaughter, a debut by Celine Buckens is reminiscent of a young Elizabeth Taylor in 40’s Technicolor. For a 14 year old actress, she delivers a believable and extremely sophisticated performance.
Joey, whilst in German ownership, is ridden away by two German brothers, both fighting and one under-age. As this is desertion, a crime against your own country, the two boys are found in a windmill by their army and shot. This execution was filmed carefully and cleverly, in the night. The horse is left untouched and unnoticed. One of the highlights of this film was its action, a combination of CGI and live stunts worked together to make some truly breath-taking scenes - such as the army’s charge on a German army camp which produced much emotion. Men and horses losing life. The battlefield between the two trenches through which Albie sprints, dodging bullets and rolling through mud, blood and water to retrieve his long lost companion. The book of the film, by Michael Morpurgo, captured the nation’s hearts thirty years ago when it topped bestseller lists for years after publishing. Its adaptation onto stage gave the book a new audience. And now with its arrival on the big screen, War Horse will be enjoyed around the world by millions of people. This film will have every single one of these people on the edge of their seats, moved by its beautiful soundtrack, transported by its clever story-line and most of all everybody who sees this film will remember it for the remainder of their lives.
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