You find a common thread with Steven Spielberg movies that there is a sense of hearfelt sentimentality and warmth running through the scenes – in movies covering a wide range of topics, from the Holocaust to a lonely and stranded alien. War Horse is no different – Spielberg skillfully weaves his mastery into Michael Morpurgo’s story, and creates a beautiful movie about friendship, loyalty and the futility of war.
The main character in this movie is Joey – the horse – a strong-headed horse that looks more like a race-horse than one destined to work in a farm. Joey’s bought by a farmer, Ted Narracott (Peter Mullan) in Devon for 30 guineas at an auction and forges a close friendship with his son, Albert (Jeremy Irvine). Although people write Joey off for being useless as a plough-horse, Albert proves everybody wrong through his patience and strong bond with Joey. Ted is forced to sell Joey as a war horse when their turnip crop is destroyed – driving Albert to enlist in the army and fight World War I to find his best friend. Joey ends up being captured by the German army, and then subsequently by the French after being adopted by a French farmer and his granddaughter, Emilie. You’ll need to see the movie to see how they are reunited at the end.
I didn’t think I would shed a tear for a movie involving a horse – not being a horse-rider and not having grown up with any. However, you know love and a strong bond when you see it – and when you see the things that Joey has to go through during the war, you will probably get teary as well. I won’t go into details, but I have been assured through numerous websites, that no horses were harmed during the making of the movie. If you want to steer away from bombastic movies this holiday period and want to see a heartwarmer, War Horse is for you. Combined with John Williams’ beautiful music, War Horse is perfect for the holiday season. Simply beautiful.