Director Steven Spielberg brings to life the story of a boy and his horse as depicted in the 1982 novel by Michael Morpurgo, Warhorse. The setting is turn of the century Britain and alcoholic farmer Ted Narracott (Peter Nullan) buys a horse that soon forms an unbreakable bond with his teenage son Albert (Jeremy Irvine). Albert names the horse Joey and when his mom Rose (Emily Watson) says they need a plow horse, Albert begins to train Joey to be a useful farm animal. Unfortunately, World War I breaks out and Joey is sold to the English Calvary and ridden by Captain Nicholls (Tom Hiddleston) until the captain is shot off in battle. Joey is soon captured by two German brothers named Gunther (David Kross) and Michael (Leonhard Carow) who are trying to escape the war. Shortly thereafter, Joey finds himself in occupied France with a young French girl named Emilie (Celine Buckens) and her grandfather (David Thewlis) who try to hide Joey from German soldiers. Joey is also the merchandise of a German in the heavy artillery at one point and in another scene Joey is caught in barbed wire only to be freed by soldiers from opposing sides. During this time Albert grows up, enlists in the army and crosses Europe to eventually reunite with Joey. This film gives a realistic and even violent view of World War I without being bloody and gruesome. The performance of the entire cast is outstanding and even though I couldn’t see the face of Joey, he must have been doing some great acting because he seemed to be naying at the top of his lungs the whole way through the film. (I would have enjoyed some dialogue from Joey like Mr. Ed from the 60’s television show.) A fabulous soundtrack helped bring the tragedy of the war to the audience – especially me – while a beautifully shot view of a battle-ridden Europe is great for people who can see even if they can’t hear. Maybe at over two and a half hours this movie seemed to be a little long but I don’t know what Spielberg could have cut. He does try to pull on the heartstrings of the audience, but maybe because I couldn’t see JoeyÕs face and he didn’t talk like Mr. Ed, I wasn’t really moved. This is a nice story about the bond between animals and humans, as well as a fantastic depiction of the first World War and I’m giving it an A- rating.
This movie has been given a PG13 rating by the MPAA
Although I am blind, I can appreciate a good movie as well as sighted individuals.
I rely more on a good story line than special effects.