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:: War Horse

When you settle in to watch a Steven Spielberg film you know that your either going to get something good or something great… the master never finds himself producing up rubbish. Once again he had managed to weave his magic with War Horse a film that despite some faults wins you over with a story that is just the right amount of drama and sweetness.

Based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo War Horse follows a horse named Joey from the day he first became the property of Albert Narracoot (Jeremy Irvine) through a heart-breaking journey that sees Joey first taken into the War by the British Army then ending up in the hands of the Germans and even to some French farmers. With Joey repeatedly changing hands it almost seems like an impossible task when Albert enlists in a bid to find his beloved horse.

Story-wise War Horse makes its audience suspend belief a lot, but with the added touch of Steven Spielberg you find yourself not minding at all. Sure most of the characters are clichéd, the Germans and the French all seem to speak perfect English and you are expected to believe that someone would enlist in the bloodiest war that humanity had seen to find a horse but Spielberg manages to present the story in such a way you find yourself totally engrossed in the story. The epic scenes, such as Joey running across the battlefields, reminds us just what a visual director Spielberg is, while little things like beginning the film at dawn and ending it a sunset prove that he really is the genius filmmaker.

It may be a little harsh to say but this isn’t a film that allows its actors to shine. With very little set-up for most characters and the fact that some many seem to drift in and then drift out of Joey’s life you hardly ever find yourself really attached to a human character and they are never on screen long enough to show any real class. Still, once again Spielberg seems to have uncovered another gem with Jeremy Irvine and he obviously has the talent that he requires for a lengthy acting career.

Visually War Horse looks spectacular and this is a film that you have to see on the big screen, a TV screen just won’t do it justice. Dramatic and easy to understand War Horse once again shows that Spielberg really has perfected the formula of making these kind of films.