Sunday, 15 January 2012

War Horse

Speilberg was brave to attempt to adapt a book written in a horse's perspective (which, having been done in Black Beauty so memorably can't really be done again) and a play that shot to fame for its incredible puppetry. So, detracting the main elements of the success of its other forms, what are you left with? In fact, a remarkable film. Our heartstrings are played with the ideal balance of gut-wrenchingly sad scenes and the odd, perfectly timed laugh. I don't even think such thorough enjoyment depends on a tendency to love horses, or a tendency to love Benedict Cumberbatch (but who lacks that tendency anyway?). Tears seemed to be a fairly unanimous reaction, unsurprisingly. In fact, this would be my only criticism, I do begin to tire of films engineered to melt the hearts and tear-ducts of its audience in such a contrived way - often such a bleak film seems unnecessary, unless it can save itself on it's merit as a piece of art.
Luckily, Spielberg managed once again showed the horror of the war from a completely different point of view, in a completely new way, so there was nothing of the 'same old' attitude I've developed towards the 'genred' films that seem unforgivably formulaic. The sheer quantity of eye-candy was also something of a plus point- from the handsome horse to the men he carried. Even the scenery and camera-work was occasionally so beautiful you forgot all about the film itself. The final scene was such an incredible piece of cinema it will take a long time to forget- the colours and light on screen were like nothing I'd seen before.
Now all I want to do is see the stage production.

1 comment:

  1. I really want to see this now... I guess I'll have to wait until it comes to the second-run theater! I first saw the preview when my exboyfriend took me to see a movie, and I thought the preview was so touching, I almost cried. XD