Movie review: War Horse

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Jacob Pollack and Justin Kroll

Staff Writers

War Horse follows the incredible journey of a horse, Joey, sold to the British military at the start of World War I. Steven Spielberg directed this poignant film, which shadows Joey’s impact on all portrayed in “War Horse”: His owner, Albert, members of the British cavalry, soldiers in the German Army and a young girl and her grandfather living in occupied France. Through Joey, Spielberg reminds us that it only takes one figure to change and inspire our lives forever.

From the movie’s beginning, War Horse shows us that the impossible can be accomplished. When Albert’s father, Ted (Peter Mullan), buys Joey in an auction to plow his field, his family does not trust that a young horse like Joey can do the job. However, early on, we see Albert and Joey’s determination as he teaches Joey to plow the once stony hillside field into one for a crop of turnips.

With money running low, Ted, unbeknownst to Albert, decides to sell Joey to the British Captain Nicholls (Tom Hiddleston) at the start of World War I. Albert, too young to join the cavalry, begs the Captain to enlist so he can remain with Joey through the war, though ultimately, Albert would join four years later when he was of age.

When Captain Nicholls (Joey’s rider) is killed in a cavalry charge in France, Joey is taken by the German army to be one of their top horses in the front lines.

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Joey’s journey brought him from Britain to the Germans, then to occupied France, where he is taken in by Emilie, a young French girl, and her grandfather. When German soldiers raid their house for food and resources, Joey is taken back into German control before the movie’s emotional ending in the heart of no man’s land.

Through a touching tale of the remarkable friendship between a man and his horse, the movie often lacked a consistent plot, according to Justin. Because of that,  he can’t imagine it being a major contender for Best Picture. The hype for it also made it slightly disappointing when it didn’t live up to his high expectations.

However, we can both agree that the cinematography, along with the filming itself, draws no complaint – not to mention the film’s original music. We both thoroughly enjoyed the filming while Joey was in German hands, especially the powerful moment when the German soldiers who took Joey had to pay for “what they had done.” For this part in particular, we can conclude by saying you will have to see the movie to find out “what they had done.”

Overall Grade: A-

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