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‘War Horse’ worth seeing

February 16, 2012 - Pam Rodgers
When I first saw the previews for “War Horse” I knew it was a movie my family and I would eventually see. My mom is an avid horse lover, having grown up riding them. I thought we would get a chance to see it in theaters but the release date coincided with other titles we wanted to see along with the holidays, so it never seemed to work out.

Therefore, with the end of February fast approaching, I figured that it was destined to become another rental. However, I saw that it was showing at the Gladbrook Theater; so, my parents and I decided to go see it Tuesday evening.

We knew it wasn’t going to be a “happy” movie. No movie about war is ever a completely joyous one. For those who don’t know, the story is based during World War I and centers around one War Horse, even though you see many horses throughout the movie.

Mom had heard from one of her students that there were parts of the story that she wasn’t going to like because of what you see happening with the horses. It’s not tough to imagine what horses could go through in war, but it’s another to see it, even if it is just a movie.

Overall, the movie didn’t go quite as I expected. It showed a lot less of the war then it could have. The main horse was a gorgeous thoroughbred named Joey. There was a lot of lead up to the actual war. You see the horse born, sold at auction and then raised by his owner’s son, Albert. The family is in poor economic standing so the father is forced to sell the horse to an officer in the war. Albert is crushed to lose his horse and promises him that he will find him when the war is over.

From there, the story follows the War Horse throughout his experiences during the war. You meet many different characters, not all soldiers, as they come in contact with Joey. Joey also gets a “friend” horse, Topthorn, a beautiful black horse that he trains with and is with him throughout a good portion of the war.

The overall feel of the movie is a bit somber. The ending is an uplifting one, but there is plenty of angst along the way. I can see why it is nominated for Best Picture. Steven Spielberg did his normal fantastic job from the director’s chair.

One thing I have to note is the music. John Williams was the composer, and he was in top form in the film. The man who brought us the theme of Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park and so many more truly made this movie the full theatrical experience.


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