War Horse (2011 film)  » Movies  »
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  • However, it also puts forth the idea that Joey functions as an aesthetic object


    • by jhunie

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      It’s the time of the year when film companies campaign for their best movies before the Oscars. I looked everywhere in the weekend papers as well as online finding the distracting line ‘for your consideration.’ Although I was not the intended target for those ads, I considered Spielberg’s War Horse, and I’d elect it for an Oscar if I could. War Horse tells the love affair between a young man and his horse (not to be confused with the play Equus.). This is a wholesome film, and nothing else makes us feel better

      other than good ‘ole patriotism in the movies, which War Horse resurrects without fancy superhero costumes or garish CGI.

      The World War I is the backdrop of the story, and the rest of it revolves around a horse named Joey. The horse plays the hero, and its human counterpart is a lad who fought the war as well as Joey, but in separate paths. Even though the story follows Joey, it’s the human characters, notably the lad’s parents and a French girl, who fills barren landscapes with affecting compassion and a bit of comedy. The film seems impartial to both camps – it makes you hate neither the English nor the Germans. Which suggests the questionable cause of the war: the soldiers merely fight for a reason they know nothing about.

      I read in advance from a piece in the American Cinematographer that one particular scene symbolically depicts a turning point in history when war horses served no purpose in the battlefield, as the peak of industrialization met the first world war – vehicles replaced horses, mechanical munitions for swords. Since it’s implied vaguely in that article, my mind plucks two scenes ...


      • War Horse (2011 film)
      from the movie which perhaps express that critical shift, the first could be the trampling of a plough contraption, like the collar of a leash, by engine-powered wheels; the second is the magnificent sequence of Joey rushing through no man’s land and narrowly escaping a tank. The latter is breathtaking to watch; both scenarios are metaphors as lucid as how the title summarily defines the movie. Don’t worry: to let slip the aforementioned scenes robs you so little from this touching tale.

      It is impossible to forget that beautiful scene in which the horse is wound

      up in thorny wires. Wow! It’s not cool to watch a horse chained and hurt like that though. But visually, that part is at once a strong political statement, artfully done, and yet so subtle. However, it also puts forth the idea that Joey functions as an aesthetic object. Nevertheless, War Horse glorifies thoroughbreds until human’s needlessness for such beautiful creatures, which is the most meaningful aspect of the movie (as annotated by those 2 scenes I mentioned above). Lastly, it brings back the time when man once loved horses more than cars.




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