15 Jan 2012 I have received heaps of phone calls and emails from people asking me if I had seen War Horse yet and what I thought of it. Just like all we horse fans, I was really concerned at how much I was going to cry and how graphic the war scenes would be. Now after finally seeing it, I can happily report all is well. Go and see it, and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
As you all know, it's based on the children's book written by British author Michael Morpurgo (one of my favourites) but I was worried about how gruesome it would become after Steven Speilburg worked his magic on it. I still don't think I've fully recovered from the Normandy landing scenes in Saving Private Ryan yet, and I'm not sure I ever will!
There are moments or course, where every horse lover is going to want to crawl under the seat rather than watch. The first military confrontation is icky, and the horrific barbed wire scene is when every horse owners’ worst nightmare comes true, but all in all it's pretty safe.
The cinematography is spectacular and the story beautiful, but of course the real stars of the film are the horses. There are so few big budget horse movies made, and some of the recent ones have been a little disappointing. This however, wasn’t the case in WAR HORSE.
Yes, it is cheesy, but isn’t that exactly what we want in a good animal movie? It reminded me of some of the classic animal movies produced in Hollywood’s “Golden Years” like National Velvet, the original Lassie movies, My Friend Flicka and so on. They were all cheese from beginning to end, and didn’t we love them! The dramatic backdrop scenes are also so reminiscent of some of Hollywood’s great triumphs such as GONE WITH THE WIND. The formula worked a treat back then, so why not today? They were simple special effects that really packed a punch in Golden Years and still do now.
Yes, definitely do go and see it on the big screen … don’t wait for the DVD. It’s a rare horsy treat and one you won’t want to miss seeing in all its cinemagraphic glory.