Posted on Friday, December 2nd, 2011 by Angie Han
In the simplest, most literal terms, the very title of Steven Spielberg‘s War Horse explains exactly what the film is about. But as you’d expect with any sweeping period epic from a legendary Oscar-winning director released during prestigious movie season, the themes of War Horse run much, much deeper.
Normally, you’d have to watch the movie to find out exactly what those themes are. However, in the case of War Horse, DreamWorks has released a TV spot featuring stars Jeremy Irvine, Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, David Thewlis, Emily Watson and Celine Buckens helpfully explaining that what the drama is really about is “bravery,” “loyalty,” “humanity,” “what connects us,” and so on. Watch it after the jump.
I honestly think War Horse will be very good. I picked up the book over the Thanksgiving holiday and enjoyed it immensely, and early buzz about the movie has been positive — our own Dave Chen tweeted, “There is so much humanity in this film, my heart almost burst. I loved this movie. It tore out my soul and give it back to me.” Nor do I doubt that War Horse truly is about “strength,” “loyalty,” “friendship,” and everything else that the actors mention in the video.
However, I couldn’t help but laugh at this spot, and not in a complimentary way. The trailers we’ve seen have pushed the emotional angle quite a bit already; having the actors sell this hard, and with that swelling music in the background, is such overkill that the commercial almost seems like a parody of itself. It also doesn’t help that they’re describing War Horse as generically as possible — pretty much any inspirational tale could be described as “an emotional journey about perseverance,” Mr. Hiddleston.
Then again, it’s very possible that I’m just a heartless robot in the minority, and this TV spot was incredibly effective for you — so what did you think?
Directed by Spielberg from a script by Lee Hall and Richard Curtis, War Horse opens December 25, 2011.
DreamWorks Pictures’ “War Horse,” director Steven Spielberg’s epic adventure, is a tale of loyalty, hope and tenacity set against a sweeping canvas of rural England and Europe during the First World War. “War Horse” begins with the remarkable friendship between a horse named Joey and a young man called Albert, who tames and trains him. When they are forcefully parted, the film follows the extraordinary journey of the horse as he moves through the war, changing and inspiring the lives of all those he meets—British cavalry, German soldiers, and a French farmer and his granddaughter—before the story reaches its emotional climax in the heart of No Man’s Land.
The First World War is experienced through the journey of this horse—an odyssey of joy and sorrow, passionate friendship and high adventure. “War Horse” is one of the great stories of friendship and war— a successful book, it was turned into a hugely successful international theatrical hit that is currently on Broadway. It now comes to screen in an epic adaptation by one of the great directors in film history.
DreamWorks Pictures’ “War Horse,” director Steven Spielberg’s epic adventure, is a tale of loyalty, hope and tenacity set against a sweeping canvas of rural England and Europe during the First World War.