WAR HORSE Review - An Epic Masterpiece by Steven Spielberg

WAR HORSE, the World War I epic, from DreamWorks Pictures and Director Steven Spielberg, brings to the screen an emotionally charged, visually stunning, story of the unshakable bonds of family, the desolation of war and the hope of renewal.

WAR HORSE from Director Steven Spielberg opens Christmas Day

Produced by Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, WAR HORSE is presented by DreamWorks SKG, Reliance Entertainment, Amblin Entertainment and Touchstone Pictures and is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Director Steven Spielberg

WAR HORSE begins with wide screen sweeping angles of the English countryside; lush patchwork landscape as far as the eye can see. WAR HORSE stars newcomer Jeremy Irvine as young Albert Narracott, along with Emily Watson and Peter Mullan, as Ted and Rose Naracott, a downtrodden family farming a stone filled plot of land.

Jeremy Irvine as Albert Narracott in Steven Spielberg's WAR HORSE

As fate would have it, a horse auction brings a young thoroughbred into their lives and grows into the fourth member of their family. More than an animal he is the brother, the friend, their strength, hope in times of despair; he creates a way when there is no way. He is loved and needed.

War and desperate times encroach and the colt is sold to the British Army. The bond that developed propels this young man, Albert, barely out of his youth, into the trenches of the first world war taking him far from the his native England to the desolate barren skeleton of the war ravaged front, in search of his beloved thoroughbred Joey.

Jeremy Irvine with Joey in WAR HORSE

WAR HORSE, one might add, is another masterpiece from Steven Spielberg and yet WAR HORSE goes beyond mastery and reveals a heightened level of filmmaking rarely seen even from someone whom many consider one of the greatest directors in modern history.

What the day was and what the day became is vividly portrayed through a series of escalating sequences as Spielberg splits the frame in quick volleys and uses colors, from a golden sense of victory as the troops advance to the black truth and barren world of reality as the war drags on, to add mood and essentially tell a story without the use of voice over and possibly through the eyes of the animal.

Steven Spielberg on the set of WAR HORSE

His use of contrasting frame shots to portray the sheer slaughter of British Troops has created scenes of carnage portrayed only in the aftermath, without a single drop of blood, as opposed to JAWS which stunned audiences thirty years ago.

The WAR HORSE set was monitored by the American Human Society for more than 1100 hours. For every moment in which a horse was on the set the American Human Society was also present. WAR HORSE received the highest honor available: Monitored Outstanding: No animals were harmed.

A scene from WAR HORSE

WAR HORSE also stars David Thewlis, Niels Arestrup, Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch and Tony Kebbell and was adapted for the screen by Lee Hall and Richard Curtis from the book by Michael Morpurgo and the recent stage play by Nick Stafford.

Celine Buckens as Emilie in Steven Spielberg's WAR HORSE

WAR HORSE, an epic masterpiece, is the type of film that invites moviegoers into an emotional relationship. WAR HORSE is expressively gripping! A four-star beauty! Allow yourself the experience of WAR HORSE!

WAR HORSE opens everywhere Christmas Day!

 

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