In the movie War Horse, Joey's journey puts him in the care of a French farm girl
Joey’s journey takes unexpected turns in War Horse
But Joey’s journey takes some unexpected turns, as we follow him through a misguided battle, on the run with two young German soldiers, in the care of a French farm girl, pulling heavy artillery up a hill for the German army, and smack in the middle of a battlefield in 1918, where a small moment in the midst of war gives hope that perhaps two opposing armies can work together.
Spielberg doesn’t gloss over the horrors of war. We see muddy battlefields strewn with dead humans and horses, a German gas attack that takes soldiers by surprise, and horses that are shot after they collapse from exhaustion. It’s hard to watch, and I don’t recommend it for kids younger than 14 or anyone who gets squeamish about war scenes and brutality against animals.
On the plus side, the story offers some insight on the horrors of war during a time when kids had to work hard to help the family hang on to their homes and farms. No kicking back with video games for THESE kids. The horse in War Horse may get people to the theater, but the movie teaches us about life during wartime in rural England and France.
I love how the story follows Joey’s journey through several people, but circles back around to Albert, who enlists in the army as soon as he’s old enough, with the hope that he’ll find his beloved horse again. Both Joey and Albert are noble, brave and don’t shirk from their duties and responsibilities.
And even though I usually weep profusely during movies like this, I didn’t with War Horse. I think it’s because it’s a feel-good story that’s predictable enough that I knew things would turn out well for our heroes. It’s not a movie I need to see again right away, but I’m glad I saw it the first time.
JANE’S REEL RATING SYSTEM:
One Reel – Even the Force can’t save it.
Two Reels – Coulda been a contender
Three Reels – Something to talk about.
Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick!
Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.
Jane Boursaw is a family entertainment writer specializing in movies and TV. Visit her at Reel Life With Jane; follow her on Twitter; become a friend on Facebook; email email@example.com.
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