To say that War Horse is a screen triumph is an understatement. In my opinion it was absolutely a cinematic work of art.
To be completely honest, War Horse isn’t really quite “my kind” of movie. I enjoy, comedies, “chick flicks”, science fiction, and of course any and all Disney movies. So when I had the opportunity to screen this historic, serious piece, I figured that I was just going to sit bored through the whole thing. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
War Horse held my attention from beginning to end. To put it in the very most simple of terms, War Horse is the story of a boy and his horse, set just before, and during, World War I. I would say that it is mostly a war film, but in between the (yes, very gruesome at times) war scenes, unfolds a most unlikely story. A colt falls into the hands of Albert Narracot after his drunken father bids on, and wins him at the local auction. Since spending the money that was needed for that month’s rent on the horse, Albert’s father finds himself in a stick situation with the landlord. Albert, having immediately formed a bond with the horse that he named Joey, even teaching him to come when called, using two cupped hands to his mouth to produce a type of owl sound, promised to teach him to plough. and would ready a field to plant turnips, to sell and make up the money to pay the rent. Albert and Joey succeed, only to have a rain storm destroy their hard work and any prospect of growing a crop.
Albert’s father is forced to sell Joey to a cavalry officer as World War I is commencing. Albert is beside himself, and tries to stop the sale, but does not succeed. He promises Joey that they will one day meet again and ties his father’s old war pendant to his bridle.
Joey is deployed to France, and as the film progresses, moves from place to place, and owner to owner four times. During this time Albert has been enlisted in the war and finds himself temporarily blinded by a gas attack. He is brought in to a medical camp where he hears whispers of a “miracle horse” who has survived the war and outlived all of his peers. Albert has an unexplainable feeling that this horse could be Joey and lets out the “owl call” that he had taught Joey.
Even though it is an ending that seems fit, and one that I predicted through out the movie, while watching every twist and turn, it was hard to believe that Albert and Joey would ever be reunited.
War Horse was a very emotional film, and hard to watch at times. But if I could enjoy it, then I feel confident in saying that most others would too.