Steven Spielberg is undeniably one of the greatest filmmakers. But it does not mean that everything that comes from him is good. It is his latest film, “War Horse“, unfortunately a good example.
The film is not, as one might mistakenly would think of the title, a war movie. It is instead what might be called a family film. In fact, most of all, a children’s film. For the older children, indeed. It is based on a book, which four years ago was also a play that has successfully achieved both in the West End in London and on Broadway in New York.
But a popular stage play does not necessarily a good movie. Especially not when the instructor has a hard time limited. It is clear that Spielberg is excited about the story, which indeed is right for him. A lonely young subject, linked emotionally to a dumb creature (alien, lizard, whatever)? Yes, the story he has been told before. But I could have wished that there had been an adult who had held the inner child in Spielberg’s hand and said: “Okay, Steven, let’s just take a step back and see if this works.”
So there would perhaps have been cut in length first and foremost. And cut the duration of the many long sequences. And being written about in the script, so it was less oppressive and clearly written. For it is one of the main problems with “War Horse“, whose history in the road struggling with sentimentality and involuntary comedy in and that the main character is a horse.
On the other hand you have to give Spielberg, he is always an eminent technical craftsman. The whole (technicolor) color barn looks resounding good, which can not come as a surprise when Janusz Kaminski, who was responsible for shooting. It is magnificent, beautiful wide screen images of beautiful landscapes in sunset, terrifying battlefields (without a drop of blood) and of course idyllic scenes between child and horse Joey. Images reminiscent of “Gone with the Wind” and an example of when all the major Hollywood machinery in earnest rolls out.
With the cast that is otherwise quite modest compared to the stellar cast – and praise Spielberg for it – are also two Danes, David Dencik and Nicolas Bro. They play (of course) both Germans. Dencik’s motorcycle ride officer shouting orders and Bro horses fit. None of them neither is particularly noticed or fall through. However Bro’s Danish accent quite clear. It may well more work if he is to play more English-speaking roles.
All in all, Spielberg made a movie that content is lagging. And as compared to Spielberg’s anti-war film does not measure up “Saving Private Ryan”. The story captivates never really an emotional, but it is rather nice to look at. It could have given two stars, but a more for the craft.
The horse Joey is born amidst the soft reversing British landscape, with the presence of the young Albert (played by new-comer Jeremy Irvine). As Albert father one day in defiance of the local land baron buy the expensive race horse that would not have been of little help as farm animals, sheep Albert charged that fit it. A twinning occurs between the two, but since the first World War breaks out, selling the danger Joey to the army.
Then the film follows the horse on its road trip in the war. From officer horse on the battlefields of draft animals of the cannons. From the UK to the French and German sides and back.
An overly sentimental film about a boy and his horse who are separated. Despite its title, it is first and foremost a family film. For those with older children (over 11 years). But the film has clearly what problem it is violent for children, but too simple for adults.