Spielberg delivers with latest adventure ‘War Horse’

Rachel Riley

Rolling hills, quaint country sides, the gripping story of one courageous animal – War Horse has all that an equestrian flick should. And for those who are not horse enthusiasts? The film, directed by Steven Spielberg, provides an equally rewarding cinematic experience. Before I continue, a few caveats for viewers: This is most definitely a war film. While there is little blood or gore, the second half of the film consists of quite a few violent battle scenes. Also, Emma Watson is not in this film. As a misinformed Harry Potter fan, I spent two and a half hours waiting for her onscreen appearance until the credits spurred the realization that I had mistaken actress Emily Watson for the former Hermione Granger. In addition to Emily Watson, the film also stars Jeremy Irvine as lead Albert Narracott and David Thewlis. The story begins when Albert’s father (Peter Mullan) brings home a rowdy stallion from an auction, hoping the animal might facilitate the planting of an overgrown field in order to save the family farm from the dreaded landlord (Thewlis). Albert’s mother (Watson) voices her disapproval, claiming such a horse will never be fit for the plow. Thus Albert takes on the challenge of taming the beautiful creature, to whom he gives the name of Joey. A captivating plot ensues as first Joey and later Albert find themselves fighting for England (and their lives) in WWI. War Horse has its fair share of surprises, with quite a few instances of unexpected comedy and remarkably unique scenes. And if these heartwarming moments are not enough to bring tears to your eyes, surely the melodious original score will. Geographically, the movie is just as pleasing. Spielberg incorporates a wealth of gorgeous European landscapes and charming accents that add an element of authenticity. My only complaints? The lack of a love interest for young Albert and the obviousness that a green screen was used for the final sequence. As a horse-lover, I would call War Horse the best equine production since Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron . As a movie-watcher, I would call it a worthwhile adventure. Rating: 7/10 Rachel Riley is the news editor for The Bark . Follow The Bark on Twitter @BeardenBARK, and like The Bark (Bearden High School) on Facebook.