Wednesday, 25 January 2012

War Horse

Poor John was off sick from work for a few days last week.  But unlike other people, he doesn't 'do' ill.  So he helped me muck out, and I should be grateful, but it's hard work mucking out with military precision and being told how to do the things  you do every day of your life.  That's all I have to say about that!
The high point, though, was making it to the cinema to see War Horse.  Have you seen it yet?
Basically, all I can tell you is that I cried from start to finish.  Because I can't spoil it for you if you haven't seen it, I will tell you there are a couple of places where I cried like a babe and one scene that was quite harrowing.  I haven't cried like that since Schindler's List (also a Steven Spielberg production - coincidence?)  If I tell you it's Black Beauty + war, that should just about sum it up. 
The acting was a bit stilted at first, but the setting is stunning (part Dartmoor, part Dorset) and of course, the horse is beautiful. His name is Joey and it's all about his relationship with the boy he goes to live with.  Later he has a horsey friend called Topthorne, and the way they were together is exactly how Barnaby and Zak relate to one another, it was so sweet to see other horses doing it, especially as they probably didn't even knew each other before filming started.  They clearly had a bond.
Of course it was set during World War I and I kept wanting to shout, "Put a hat on!" but of course very few people bothered with that sort of thing in those days, did they?
And so I learned: We owe a massive debt of gratitude to all the horses that went to war during that time. Micheal Morpurgo wrote the book and during his research learned that a million horses died on the British side; he extrapolated an overall figure of 10 million horse deaths on all sides. Of the million horses that were sent abroad from the UK, only 62,000 returned, the rest dying in the war or slaughtered in France for meat.
When the film ended there was not a dry eye in the house.  We could hear sniffing sounds as the audience collectively tried to pull itself together.
John and I drove home and went straight into the stables, to hug our boys and bury our faces in their necks, sighing  with relief that they would never have to go through what those poor brave animals endured.
So yes, War Horse is a marvellous film, I can't recommend it enough.  Go and see it if you can.
Jane x


  1. Good book! Better than the film! (sorry)

  2. So I've been told, so it's next on my reading list!

  3. Oh I really do want to see this film but I am very slow with getting to see films, I’ve only recently seen the newest Transformers film, which you mentioned on your blog some time ago, I really rather liked it but it was a bit odd till the action started.

    I haven’t ever seen Black Beauty but people say it’s very sad, I can imagine War Horse is too, but I am normally very good about not crying in movies the most I get is a lump in the throat, anyways really looking forward to seeing this movie, glad you enjoyed it.

    PS hope John is feeling better soon.

  4. I was going to go and my friend talked me out of it. A friend of hers saw it and just said it was way too upsetting for him to handle it. Not sure I could either. I get SO involved. Then again, that's the point, isn't it?

  5. I haven't seen the movie yet. So excited to watch it, hopefully I can.

  6. Hi Jane, oh dear not sure I could cope with such a film, maybe I will wait until I can watch it at home, as like you I would be in tears. My hubbys grandfather wrote a horse in the 1st World War and I dont think that hubby every got to know what happened to him, all I know is he must have had a fall at sometime because he walked with a stick all the time my hubby knew him. hugs Shirleyxxx

  7. hiya- I think I'll be giving Warhorse a wide berth as I know I'd get too upset. One of my biggest upsets is all the horses they conscripted for WW2 (and ours would've been just the type they wanted) promising to return them after the conflict, and then deciding that it was too expensive to ship them back and selling them off in the Far east. Sheer wickedness.

    Freezing mornings here at last making everything just a tad more time consuming, but lovely to put cold hands under warm stable rugs for a warm up!

    Hope all is well with you and yours


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