War Horse (Flick’s Review)

Posted on | December 26, 2011 | 2 Comments

5 out of 5 stars

Albert, a farm boy lives with his no nonsense mother and drunken father. When his father buys a horse for thirty shillings the family’s farm is at stake. The family really needs a farm horse to plow their fields. Joey, the horse is not trained to plow and it will take time for him to learn. Just after Albert and Joey start bonding and Joey is trained World War I starts. Joey is sold off by Albert’s father. Joey becomes a captain’s horse. After the captain dies Joey is taken by two horse loving brothers. Joey is passed down from owner to owner mainly because his owners are killed.

The story of War Horse is excellent. I have now read or watched the plot unfold three times. I have read the 1982 novel, seen the Broadway play and as of today I saw Steven Spielberg’s film. I’m not quite sure which interpretation is my favorite because they are all so good. Each version tells the story in an entirely different way. The book as all books do lets you imagine the story. The play tells you the story in a very limited amount of space. The film tells the story with effective effects in a very unlimited amount of space. The horse is real and I think Spielberg’s decision of using a real horse is a much better choice than using a CG horse. I can imagine in this world full of computerized characters many directors would have gone with the wind. Wait no not the wind, the CG. If the horses were CG the war scenes would look fake and the idea of aliens attacking would reach your brain pretty soon. In the film the war scenes are very real. In one scene Albert is in a trench with other solders. Bombs are going off all around them. When the solders charge the result is grueling. Although the scene is not extremely bloody or gory it is very intense. The manner in which Spielberg articulates this scene is astounding. The replacement of blood is taken by intensity. Jansuz Kaminski’s cinematography is astounding.

Every actor in the film is great. Yes I mean every one of them. Yes I mean Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Peter Mullan, Tom Hiddelston, Niels Arestup, Bennedict Cumberlatch, Celine Buckens and many, many more. I have not heard a John Williams score that I have disliked yet and this definitely keeps the record going. Williams is known for using brass as the lead instrument. In War Horse he uses flutes and strings as the lead in songs such as Dartmoor 1912 and Seeding, and Horse vs. Car. He also uses the piano as a lead instrument which is rare. Alright those are the reasons I give War Horse five stars. Add them together and a masterpiece is born. And now draw swords and charge to the Oscars.

My favorite character is a tie between Albert and Joey because their friendship is unbreakable. They’re like Han Solo and Chewbacca. They go together. To say which one I like better is impossible.

My favorite scene is when Albert is in the trench with Gunther, David and the other British troops because the cinematography is brilliant and the actors act as if they really are battling in World War I. The bombs that explode all around them are very real.

War Horse is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of war violence. I agree with the rating.



2 Responses to “War Horse (Flick’s Review)”

  1. flickflack
    December 27th, 2011 @ 8:46 am

    Good job, Flick!!! I agree with you about the film but was there anything bad about it and how does it rank with your other Steven Spielberg favorite classics!!! What Oscars do you think it will be nominated for and win??? Anyway,great review!!! From Flack

  2. flickflack
    December 27th, 2011 @ 9:46 am

    Yes it certainly ranks high and I’m happy to say there is just about nothing negative in the film except the humor which is not needed and becomes disruptive during a few scenes. Oscar chances? I would say absolutely a nomination for Best Picture. I also think it will win Best Picture although I haven’t seen The Artist yet and that might beat War Horse. I think Best Score will probably go to John Williams and hopefully Mr. Spielberg will get a Best Director win. Unfortunately its looking like none of the actors will win or even be nominated for three reasons. The first reason is that Joey, the horse, is the best actor in the film and I don’t think he counts (unfortunately). The second reason is that there were a lot of really good performances this year. The third reason is that the cast is ensemble. From, flick

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