Sunday, January 8, 2012

War Horse PG-13 (2011) A-

Another Great Poster For Another Great Spielberg Movie
            In 1918, it must have been a tragedy for millions of people when they heard that their loved ones had died in World War One, then known as "The Great War". It must have been equally tragic for those animal lovers in Britain who learned that 8 million horses died in the terrifying war.  War Horse, which is based on Micheal Morpurgo's bestseller and the Tony- award winning play, tells the story of a horse who saw the destruction up close.
    Spoiler Alert: Albert (Jeremy Irvine) 's beloved horse , Joey, is sold off to the British Army because his family is ridiculously poor, even though they have a goose that they could have sold to Celia Foote in The Help. However, thanks to a ill-advised attack against the Germans, Joey gets to experience life on the German side. However, he runs away with a fellow horse to temporarily live with Emile (Cecile Buckens) and her grandfather (Niels Arestrup) before working as get the picture. By being with a lot of different owners, we , along with Joey, get to have an understanding from all sides that war  always hurts, and that noone desreves to be in one..
       Both the acting and the directing was excellent as always in Speilberg's movies. Emily Watson, Jeremy Irvine, Niels Arestrup, Cecile Buckens, Peter Mullan, Tom Hiddleston, and countless others were great, as they play people that you care for and cry for when bad things happen to them. Of course, the audience always cries at the deaths of the horses , ( no , I'm not telling if Joey lives or not), because they were brillant and naive characters stuck in history's epic sweep.
       As for Spielberg, his trademark faces and angles bring this beautifully cinematographic war drama to great understanding.  John William's music is always perfect, and despite a couple of bad editing, ( after all this is Spielberg's first film with digital editing, so you can't blame him), the flow and feel of this movie was like seeing a beautiful, yet sad epic. Yet, the real star of this whole picture is the horse.
                Joey plays the role so perfectly, and with such great tragedy, that if there was an Oscar for best animal performance, he will be a strong contender for it. I read in a review by Roger Ebert, that the way Spielberg decided to make Joey a voice for the countless others who died in the war, reminded him of the way he did the same with the survivors in Schindler's List, symbolizing how significant both of them were. Well, Mr. Ebert is right , because the way Joey acted is just enough to make a person weep with dignity as they did in the mentioned film above. The survivors from both movies, ( no, I'm telling you whether Joey lives to see Albert or not) tells the audience that even though history was horrible, we can make sure that its mistakes never happened again. Thank you.
           On my grading scale, War Horse gets an A-. Steven Spielberg has been known for making great films. Is this his greatest film? No. However, this may be a contender for Spielberg's one of his great movies list. Just make sure that you have a lot of tissues when you see this. It will make your heart feel like it will burst , which epics are made for doing.

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