I’d been looking forward to Steven Spielberg’s War Horse for months and had squeezed my girlfriend’s hand each time I’d seen the trailer in the cinema. Unfortunately I left the film feeling disappointed. For me, a person with a deep fascination with the First World War, I felt there was a lot of Horse before we got to the War. I understand that the film is called War Horse so would obviously contain a lot of ‘horse’ but being unfamiliar with the source material my only knowledge of the story was the films trailer which was more Saving Private Ryan than Black Beauty.
The film however was not terrible and for me the touching scene featuring barbed-wire in No Mans Land was a standout. I felt that the film could have lost one of the strands which made up the story. Instead of the story with the old French man and his granddaughter, I’d have preferred to have seen more of the trenches, but this could well be due to my interest in the war.
One of my main problems with the film and which spoiled it for me was that the French and German characters all spoke English. This is a particular bugbear of mine and I think that the sorts of people who go to see War Horse are not the sort of people who would mind subtitles. It is not Ratatouille. This became even more stupid when two German characters were speaking English to each other while a German officer in the background spoke German.
I can understand why many people have found the film sad but as someone with no particular love for horses I felt indifferent towards it and didn't spend enough time with any ofhe hman characters to feel anything for them either.
War Horse is not a bad film but I found my excitement of the trailer nowhere near matched my enthusiasm for the film as a whole.