Rarely taking the opportunity to write about World War I (much less anything else as of late :) ), I have to say… regarding War Horse, well, it’s not just a World War I movie… but that’s cool, really, because, overall, it’s just a rich, enjoyable movie. In fact, I got the sense that it takes us back to the days of some of the real classics. Indeed, I’ve heard it explained that it’s somewhat of a cross between Old Yeller, All Quiet on the Western Front, and Black Beauty. Story-line, cinematography (move eye candy, much enjoyed), it’s all there. But, I don’t want to spoil the movie for those who haven’t seen it, so, I’ll limit my thoughts on the WWI scenes.
Now, when it comes to WWI, at best, I’m perhaps a few notches above amateur, so, if there were inaccuracies, I didn’t catch them (not to mention, I’m rather narrow in my scope of understanding… the American Expeditionary Force). No, instead I took the movie in for what it was, good entertainment, and, without history gone cheesy… at least it didn’t feel cheesy, at any point. One gets to get a glimpse of at least two sides of the war… British and German… and the movie approaches both sides without bias… well, on second thought, maybe some Germans come across a little more brutal, but certainly not all. There’s also some good scenes of both the battlefront (open field and trench warfare) and behind the lines. Not to mention, there’s a couple really good scenes about desertion, from both sides. And yes, there’s even perspective from the civilian (French) point of view. But, again, I can’t go too crazy and reveal too much.
In short, do I recommend it? Yes, absolutely. Enjoy, and, if you feel the need to cry, go ahead… or use whatever tear suppression tactics that you find necessary.
Oh yes, and one other thing… when it comes to the American Civil War, Pickett’s Charge does get a shout out.