WAR HORSE, a story of friendship and war, first became a well-loved family book, then an innovative stage play that took audiences by storm and now it sees another incarnation in its most visceral medium yet.
The film has been nominated for the prestigious Golden Globe Awards in Best Drama and Best Film Award categories. After releasing in the US on 25th December to extremely good reviews from critics and audience alike, the film opened in the UK on 13th January. The film even won the Best Cinematography Award at the recently concluded 17th Critics Choice Awards.
WAR HORSE is set against a sweeping canvas of rural England and Europe during the First World War. It begins with the remarkable friendship between a horse named Joey and a young man called Albert played by Jeremy Irvine as he tames and trains Joey. 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.
“WAR HORSE says a lot about courage; the courage of this boy and what he endures and what he overcomes to achieve what he needs and not just for himself but also for his best friend, his horse Joey. It’s also about the courage and the tenacity of this extraordinary animal. The theme of courage kept coming back and back from the play, from Michael Morpurgo’s book and from Lee Hall and Richard Curtis’ screenplay. That was the underlying subliminal theme that I think informs every frame of WAR HORSE”, says the director.
Steven Spielberg did not want to sign a known face for the role of Albert, “I auditioned hundreds boys for the role of Albert and right in the middle of the search process, we found Jeremy. And then we moved on to see if anybody else could match him. And several months later, we came back to Jeremy, realizing that he was the best person for the part.”
“What’s fantastic about Steven is that he gives you enough space to work and have your own margins of experimentation on things. Everything that Steven Spielberg does has a realism to it. The most incredible thing about working with Steven Spielberg is that you get the best people in the world working with you. There’s no doing things by halves. Everything is done the best way it can possibly be done,” says Jeremy Irvine who sure was elated to have landed the role of Albert in the film.
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 an epic adventure for audiences of all ages releases in India on February 10th 2012.