Jacob Guempel’s Review of War Horse
*Please note that this review WILL have spoilers but will be kept to a broad standard to get the point across.
War Horse, in my opinion, is one of the greatest depictions of how strong the bond can be between a person and an animal. Albert and Joey grew very close to each other as their family depended on them. During their time together, Albert taught Joey a call that he would remember for the rest of his life. Because Albert was too young to go to war, he couldn’t go with Joey as the army came to collect soldiers, horses, and whatever they felt was a necessity for war. Albert was torn by this and all he could think about was growing up to go to war and find his horse. Six years pass and finally Albert finds Joey only to be as beat up as he was. The emotional bond between humans and animals is what allowed Albert and Joey to find their way back to each other. Joey not only connected with Albert as he made a handful of others along his way through the war. Due to these people, mainly towards the end of the film, he was reunited with Joey in the most special way. The first thing that comes to mind after watching this film is the saying, “A man’s best friend”. No matter what happens, Albert’s heart was set to finding his best friend.
As for the film’s accuracy, I believe that it isn’t as accurate as depicted. In one scene, a man holds up a white flag and walks toward a horse in the middle of “No Man’s Land”, which is the middle of a battleground between two trenches. At first sight, the enemy thinks it’s a trap and shoots a warning shot, however I believe in a real war, the man would dead by the time he popped his head out of the trench, let alone walk by himself out there. Other than that scene, historically speaking, it is accurate.
Although the story itself is very touching and uplifting, War Horse is not realistic at all. Most of the other horses in this war were killed in action. One scene for example has soldiers charging on horseback into an enemy territory. The enemy was ready with mounted machine guns and killed about every horse and horseman but miraculously Joey wasn’t harmed. Joey was also pushed harder than most horses can handle while also having horrible living conditions and little to no care. Joey also sprinted through two thick lines of barbed wire and got tangled up and fell over in the middle of the battlefield. Although he came out of that injured, I think there is no way he could have lived all of that. Albert was beyond lucky with the events he went through to finally reunite with Joey. Not only did he get stationed at the trenches near Joey, but he had to be in the hospital just to be near him. Somewhere in the mix, a soldier knew Joey’s name and told Albert that it was a majestic horse named Joey. Albert gets up, still blinded from the gas attack, and does the call he taught Joey from six years ago. To top all of that off, an old man who lost everything from the war, bought Joey for one hundred pounds and ended up giving him to Albert for no cost even after saying Joey is the only thing he has left to remember his daughter.