By Joan Alperin Schwartz
Albert (Jeremy Irvine) a young boy, who lives on a rented farm in Devon with his mom (Emily Watson) and his dad (Peter Mullen). Albert has a horse named Joey and Joey…is one awesome horse and the family couldn’t be happier. Until…
WW! breaks out, and poor Joey is sold to the British cavalry and shipped off to France. Luckily this really nice British officer (Tom Hiddleston) promises the devastated Albert, that he will take wonderful care of Joey and do everything in his power, to bring the horse back to him. In one piece of course.
But as luck would have it, the kindly officer is killed in battle and Joey, well…he goes on one hell of an adventure.
Joey becomes BFF with another horse…winds up fighting on both sides of the War…hangs out with a sickly, young girl and her grandfather (straight out of Heidi) gets his horse-heart broken and eventually winds up…(Spoiler Alert) back where it all began.
Sounds heartwarming, right?…Well, not that much.
‘War Horse’ directed by Steven Spielberg, is based on the award winning play of the same name. The play is based on a children’s book, written by Michael Morpurgo.
This extraordinary theatre piece took over five years to put together, before it opened at the Royal National Theatre in London. ‘War Horse’ then went on to Broadway, where it won several awards including the Tony for Best Play and Best Director.
‘War Horse’ was dubbed the theatrical event of the decade.
What makes this play so incredible are the horses…Because they are life size puppets…Big enough and strong enough for the actors to ride. On stage these puppet horses snort, gallop, walk, and rear up. You can even feel them breathing. That’s how life-like they are.
This is theater at its most powerful…And sadly, for me, ‘War Horse’ the film…is anything but powerful.
From Spielberg’s heavy handed direction, to the endless close-ups, plus John Williams, overpowering score, ‘War Horse’ lacks everything that made the play so wonderful. Maybe some plays should just be left alone…Not everything has to be made into a film.
‘War Horse’ reminded me of those bad movies that were so popular in the 50’s and 60’s, where every scene seemed designed to milk an emotion out of you.
Lastly, I know ‘War Horse’ is being marketed as a family film, but some of the scenes involving animal brutality are much too graphic for kids…and definitely for this adult.
This is another rare time, when John and I agree. Check out our video to see how many bagels we gave this film. ‘War Horse’ opens in theaters on December 25, 2011.
Also the ‘Two Jews On Film’ will be on Popcorn Mafia this Wednesday, December 21st, at 1:30 PST discussing ‘War Horse’ and and various other 2011 flicks. You can listen by going to MyNDR.com and call in at 323-284-5532 with questions, comments, thoughts.