When we talk of war, we often talk of distruction and loss of human lives. But in the struggle between powers, nature also suffers. Animals that work for men, like Horses, camals, cattle, dogs as well as forests with it’s free-moving birds and wild creatures falling pray to mortor assaults, are casualties of war which mostly remain unnoticed.

‘War Horse’ throws light on them. It’s a story of a four-legged warrior, a horse named Joey, who is dragged in the battlefield during the World War I. It is a story of undaunting courage and timeless friendship.

Joey, raised and trained by a boy called Albie- Albert Naracott (played by Jeremy Irvin) in rural England, is a remarkable young colt. He shares a special bond with Albert and his family. They feel Joey would be a saviour for the family, but fate has something else in store.

When the war breaks, Albert’s father, Ted Naracott (Peter Mullan) has to sell off Joey to Captain Nichollas, who promises Albie that he’d take care of this special horse.  And there starts a great journey for Joey, who in the course of war, travels different territories and has many owners and friends and miraculously survives the hardships of war. Meanwhile Albie too, joins army and still hopes to see Joey someday. Their reunion is not without any drama.

The movie is a film adaptation of a Novel of the same name by Michael Morpurgo, a story based on true tales of Horses during the First World War. It was a time, when animals were still used in warfare- both as ride, or as carriers of heavy artiliary guns or vehicles. Their contribution, is mostly forgotten.
Joey is a metaphor for all those who are drawn in the war wherin they are not directly involved. Joey works for 3 armies- first British, then German and then French. Though he’s born in Devon- Britain, he’s neither English, nor German, nor French. He’s just a War horse who keeps doing his job. Yet, Joey gets friends in all three armies. There are people who treat him as a machine and then, there are people who love him.

The high point of movie for me is the scene, where Joey is entangled in barbed wire in the no-man’s land and a British Soldier and his German counterpart come forward to save him and how they decide who’d take the Horse.

Many scenes in the movie depict war in a different perspective. For example, Ted Naracott is a Boer War Veteran who never talks of his achievements. He’s weak in a leg and drinks constantly to avoid pain. Still, Ted is respected by his wife, Rose, for the valour he showed in war. She says her husbund is courageous enough not to feel proud of killing others.

Interstingly, the movie has come out at a time, when fear of war and unrest is looming over many countries around the world.  A century after the Great War,world still knows no peace.

Like the grand-père says in the movie, it’ll never be over. And then it might really end and reunited friends would be walking together in the twilight..

Directed and co-produced by Steven Spilberg, the movie is ofcourse, technically superb. Speilberg has missed on the Oscar nomination for Best director but his movie has got 6 nominations, and can bag a couple of awards for sure.

– Janhavee Moole