War Horse

Steven Spielberg’s newest film, “War Horse,” is a perfect movie from head-to-hoof. No, not the movie as a whole, but in its storytelling and ideals. Spielberg shows audiences his passion for good, old-fashioned cinema. He evokes a passion seen by only one other director last year, Martin Scorsese in “Hugo.”

A boy and his horse
The story is of a young boy, Albert (Jeremy Irvine), and his horse Joey being ripped apart by World War I and being forced into fighting in merciless combat in hopes of finding each other.

The film has a Forrest Gump feel to it as the story follows the horse during several years being found in different situations on all sides of the war. But unlike “Forrest Gump,” some of these moments can get dry. I mean, a horse is no Tom Hanks, and Joey is no Gump.

But Spielberg has a point, and it is made through these interactions.

There are things that must be remembered in war. They are all shown through the characters and their stories. Friendship, love, honor, bravery, strength and, above all, hope are the focus of the film.

No scene shows this more than one involving a British and a German soldier halting combat to free an entangled Joey from barbed wire. They are not soldiers, but human beings.

Ideals past and present
Granted, the movie’s constant, singular tone leaves little mystery, but, again, Spielberg knows the movie he’s making. It’s a wartime story (with scenes accompanying his technical wizardry) about ideals that are just as present as the ones that are forgotten.

Spielberg is a filmmaker who believes in the power of movies and what they can do to the audiences. Sometimes it’s not about substance but about heart. He found the perfect source material for this in “War Horse” (based on a play by the same name) and fills it with beautiful visuals, a sweeping score by John Williams and a dedication to good, ol’-fashion cinema that must never be forgotten.

Grade: A-

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