Greetings Cosmic American!
Try as I might, I could not keep my composure during this film. Maybe I am just a sucker for animal movies (Marley and Me, anyone?). Fortunately, I had sunglasses to cover my puffy eyes as I exited through the theater lobby into the hustle and bustle of the Grove in LA.
For today, I am going to take a rare leap from the Civil War to the Great War...yeah I know, but sometimes I like to step outside of the box a little.
I suppose cynics will lambast War Horse as a trite boy-meets-horse gut-wrenching epic set against the backdrop of war-torn Europe...the near-perfect cinematic canvas for Spielberg to work his magic - his sublime period realism. Whatever. Cynics will be cynics.
I am not going to do that, but rather, highly recommend this film. Why?? Because of its historical accuracy with uniforms, equipment, all that?? No - one of my pet peeves is taking historical dramas to task for attention to accuracy (or lack there of) when the purpose of such films is to provide entertainment.
Maybe, being a Civil War historian, I just have a soft spot in my heart for stories about animals drafted into military service. Horses were killed by the thousand in the war I study - they came under fire as officer's mounts, artillery animals, etc. Animals did much the same work fifty years later - so I can relate.
What's more - War Horse offers a damn good story. I am not going to give away any plot developments or spoil the ending but - suffice to say - some things just matter...even in a world that has gone to shit. It's a valuable lesson for then, now, whenever.
So go see it - but think twice about taking the little ones. There are some pretty rough scenes.