War Horse: A beautiful story from a tragic era

18 Jan

Going to see War Horse was inevitable from the minute I saw the trailer, I love horses, I use to ride myself and I think that these genres of film are important to watch, as we should never forget the horrifying events of both world wars, this film had already captivated me before I even made it to the cinema, the trailer alone was that fantastic. I’ve never seen the play (much to my regret I imagine it was a wonderful production) but I’m sure the film lives up to the productions and novels glory.

When my lovely friend Kayla suggested we go to the cinema for an evening out it was between The Sitter and War Horse, well the choice was obvious…rubbishy innuendo filled comedy? Or beautifully crafted movie presenting an epic part of British history? I was slightly hesitant to see War Horse at the cinema as I knew I was in for a bit of a tear jerking few hours with lots of screeching actors, however I was pleasantly surprised. Instead of the usual wailing dramatics that I’ve seen before in films trying to portray heartbreak and horror, War Horse presented poignant sorrow and silent sentimentality, pride, dignity, hope and courage. I found this to be far more effective as in real life we don’t go running around wailing our emotions, and the mark of a wonderful actor is to present emotions to an audience just as clearly but without the banshee method. Well that’s exactly what you’ll get with War Horse, a lot of attention and care has gone into this film.

Directed by Steven Spielberg War Horse features the story of Albert Narracott who experiences love at first sight when he sees a young colt, later when his father buys the colt at the market even though he needed a plough horse, to spite his greedy landlord who was also bidding, Albert is delighted and promises his furious mother that he will raise the horse and make him useful.

Albert names the young colt Joey and the two form an unshakeable bond of friendship and love that is put to the test, when Joey is sold by Albert’s father to save the farm, to a young cavalry soldier about to enter into the fray of the First World War. Albert swears that when he becomes of age he will join the army and be reunited with Joey again, no matter how long it takes and how far he has to go. 

I must say that this is one of the few films that can truly be described as ‘beautiful’ from the filming locations to the acting everything about it is stunning, quite a few high-profile actors made their appearances, I was particularly delighted to see Benedict Cumberbatch from the BBC’s Sherlock who is an amazing actor (and my latest celebrity crush, he has lovely cheekbones, delicious!) and David Kross from the award-winning The Reader.

Another wonderful thing I thought War Horse highlighted was the sacrifices that the horses made in the first World War, around ten million horses were estimated to have been killed overall, one million from the UK alone with only 62,000 of those horses returning, most killed either in cavalry charges, exhaustion or for meat when the war concluded. The pain and suffering of these poor courageous animals deserving as much honour and remembrance as the men who died, War Horse finally gives them their just tribute.

So take some time out of your week to go see War Horse, and become immersed in the amazing story of two friends that even a war which turned the world upside down, was unable to keep apart.

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