A good friend and I ventured out yesterday afternoon for a matinee showing of "War Horse". I couldn't wait any longer, I was ready to see the movie even if it cut into my Christmas festivities. I read the book, so I knew the storyline and knew what to expect. Armed with Kleenex, popcorn, and a soda, I went in hoping I wouldn't be disappointed.It didn't take long, and I was in my pockets pulling out that Kleenex. I don't want to give any plot elements away, but anyone who has sold a horse they didn't want sold is going to cry when the horse is handed over to the British Cavalry. The beginning of the film is very "Disney"...touching, family, community, sweeping landscapes, and simple living. But as soon as the horse "Joey" leaves for France, the movie takes a different tone. It is visually stunning. Some of the shots were truly breath taking, if you can peak over your jacket you have pulled over your eyes. I wasn't that bad, but I did find myself holding my breath and gripping very tightly to my popcorn. Some scenes are going to be hard. Imagine men on horseback with swords taking on a gatling guns. It is not going to be pretty. The wonderful directing choice made by Spielberg, is that he chose to show zero blood or red. The horror of the battle sinks in without seeing any gore, just a battlefield full of horses and men.The horses in the film, beautiful. An amazing group of equine, that just made the cinematography even more stunning. Again, not giving anything away, "Joey" is like the "Forrest Gump" of the horse world. He seems to end up on these interesting adventures that eventually lead him back to where he needs to be. I really enjoyed the film, but it was emotionally exhausting. To me, that is what makes a good film. Anything that makes you feel that strongly, has done something right. I keep telling my horse friends they need to see it. To not see it, is to deny all those horses in wars throughout history their sacrifice.We left the theater checking our mascara when we got to the car, and couple big exhales, and the promise of Christmas dinner waiting for us made us feel a little better. This movie has impact, even on those who have never know love for the horse and that is invaluable. Go see it. Let me know what you think.
***Side note: There is a scene on the farm with a white "attack goose". Boy, did that bring back memories. We had one that looked just like that one. "Gandy"...he attacked everyone that showed up to the farm. He even managed to knock a few people down and was endlessly getting trampled by horses because he couldn't leave them alone. He lived about 16 years...it was like going back in time when I saw that goose come out of nowhere, chasing the man. A little bonus on Christmas day.