Monday, December 26, 2011

Thoughts on War Horse

Peace="Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use and persecute you."

To me, War Horse was all about the uselessness of war.  Set in WWI, you know that Germany's aspirations to invade, and control, Europe were never successful, though look at how many people had to die before things could return back to the way they were in the first place.  And these poor horses and innocent people who were caught up in it. 

The pride and excesses and laziness of the father, the materialism of the landlord, the cruelty of many and the wasted nobility of some.

It got me thinking about how much we could benefit if everyone followed the above formula for peace.  There's wisdom in loving our enemies--if nothing else, trying to figure out what we did to instigate their hatred in the first place and, maybe, if we're lucky, be able to make it right. 

I don't think anyone likes war, yet there is always war.

I loved the movie.  It was about a lot of things: friendship, loyalty, perseverence, change, materialism--and maybe more of a willingness to see all those things neutrally since it's largely wrapped up in the journey of a horse.  It's easy to get and stay angry at people, but harder to do so with animals.  It was interesting that though they fought each other, each nationality could love the horses that passed through and even, at times, suspend their fighting to help them.

I thought that Christmas was an appropriate day for it to be released.  The theater was absolutely packed and, when it was over, everyone clapped. 

Did you see it?  What were your thoughts?


  1. I haven't seen it yet. Hopefully next week. It sounds like a movie that makes you think a little deeper about life. I like that.

    Thanks for sharing,

  2. I don't usually see movies until they come out on DVD or show it on TV. It looks good though. Do you think you'll buy it when it comes out?

  3. Loved your thoughts on the movie War Horse. I saw it yesterday. I had gone prepared to cry my way through the movie but I didn't. Instead I found myself thinking about war and why we can't seem to grasp how barbaric it is. I found myself wondering why those who make movies using animals can't make a movie that educates the general public on how to be with them safely, and why do they have to always give the animals human like motivations? In the end, I didn't really connect with any of the human characters enough. I knew who I did not like, but the ones I was suppose to like weren't fleshed out enough for me.

  4. Have fun, Reddunappy. Let me know what you think afterward.

    Lisa--That's basically what I took away from it...more than anything else. The horse was in and out of lives too quickly to get close to the characters themselves, but it did show the differences between them all and their own humanity...or lack of humanity.

  5. Nikki--that's a good question, and I guess the answer is yes, I'll buy the DVD.

    WilsonC--I know what you mean about the people not being fleshed out enough. It seems to me like he abandoned that goal early on and instead went for a montage of co-altered lives that the horse passes through. The overall impression I came out of the theater with was that all the lives were equally important and I would have been happy had the horse (or horses) ended up with any of the noble characters. It wasn't important at all, to me, that he actually got home, but it did fulfill the Frenchman's story about the birds flying over the war and looking toward home. Thanks for your input, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your thoughts.

  6. I enjoyed reading your impression of this film. There were parts of it that I really enjoyed, but overall I thought it overly barbaric and gruesome. It did nothing for my impression of mankind and their "use it, abuse it, then throw it out" mentality. I loved the glimpses of the goodness of humans threaded throughout the movie gives me hope for mankind. It portrays war realistically, I think. Tragic, wasteful and eventually useless. I cried through most of it and at times couldn't bear to watch. I left with a headache and overall thought it was too gruesome and just plain too much for this horse lover. I don't recommend it. Not sure what I expected. I'd compare this movie to "Schlindler's List", but with horses being sacrificed.

  7. C-ing spots--I know what you mean. Luckily, I did have a warning because I read a review beforehand. Still, it was very disturbing in parts. The highlights during it were the kindnesses and nobilities of many of the characters along the way--the boy first, (and his friend and mom), the cavalry officer who took the time to draw him the picture, the frenchman and his grandaughter, and the horse caretakers in the military. All in all, my overall impression (and I cried a lot, too) was what a horrible waste, and sin against all living things, war is.

  8. Many of the war horses were killed instead of being sent home due to cost. I read that when Winston Churchill found out about it, he saved many horses lives by working on getting them home.

    I loved the movie... A bit cheesy in parts (teaching the horse to put the yoke over his head by the boy showing it put on his own head) ha. But forgivable as it was powerful in so many other ways! The audience was silent and stayed sitting a bit when the movie was over and walked out silently. One doesn't see that often with a big crowd!


Please feel welcome to join our discussion by telling us about your own thoughts and experiences.