War Horse gallops across the big screen with a deep sense of courage and pride. The film starts with an emotional backstory, slowly builds steam and then thrusts you directly into battle. Everyday struggles are mixed with emotional strife, as the war entangles this tiny European town. This incredibly inspiring film makes you pause for a moment to reflect on what is most important in life.
Young Albert, played by Jeremy Irvine, trains his new horse Joey. As World War I begins to unfold, Joey is taken away from Albert. Albert decides to enlist in the military, in hopes that he will one day be reunited with Joey. This beautifully crafted film follows Joey, as he touches a number of lives throughout his journey. Joey’s sheer will to survive is inspiring, as he is given an emotional depth rarely seen by an animal in motion pictures. Joey has this amazing character arc, which is achieved through neither voiceover nor animation, but with well-timed camera shots and creative editing.
Steven Spielberg garners admiration and respect worldwide for his amazing career in the film industry. Check your troubles at the door, for Spielberg pulls you into his new world of War Horse. When the film is over and the credits roll, you blink a few times, look around the theater and suddenly you are back in your own reality. Steven Spielberg is to be commended for always pushing himself and others, regardless of the content, to make each movie as emotionally adept and enthralling as possible. War Horse is a movie which overflows with warmth and charm because Steven Spielberg was at the helm.
With regard to casting, there were very few recognizable faces in this film. Jeremy Irvine, who plays Albert, makes his big screen debut in this feature film. Other actors have some experience under their belts, but there are no megastars in this film. Regardless of their Hollywood status, each member of the cast was well selected and together they achieve something magical. Spielberg has a true knack for drawing the best from everyone, regardless of their experience level.
One might presume this movie will play best to an older crowd. While that may be true, this magnificent movie should be enjoyed by everyone. The movie does gloss over the war a bit, with clever camera angles and sentimental scenes, leaving the gruesome details to your imagination. However, the impeccable camera work draws you into each scene, just at the right moment, making you feel what you are supposed to feel. Nothing is rushed, nothing is forced…it just flows.
War Horse is an amazing, emotional journey, which tugs at your heart strings and leaves you with a sense of pride. You simply cannot walk away from this movie without feeling something. While the runtime is a hefty 146 minutes, the movie does not feel drawn out. Once this motion picture pulls you in with the back story, it captures your heart and mind. Take the entire family, young and old, to see this soon-to-be classic. If you’ve seen the movie already, please share your thoughts below. If you haven’t seen the movie, go see it…then come back and talk about it.