I am going through a bit of a drought at the moment in terms of quality films to watch so instead I am just going to talk about this new poster for the upcoming Spielberg film War Horse. I’ve heard about War Horse sure, and I even expect that it will be quite good but I am struggling a little bit with the combination of the poster image, the film name and the strapline which reads “Separated by war. Tested by battle. Bound by friendship.” The poster looks like the cover of a romantic novel and that slogan – the man and the horse are ‘bound by friendship’? Really?
I have never owned a horse but I did have a cat and we got on OK but even if me and my cat had ever been separated by war and tested by battle I just can’t imagine her really being especially bound to me with friendship and I certainly can’t imagine that there would be much in the way of a story to be told about it all. Just my cat being nonplussed by the whole thing and maybe a single purr at the end. What I am getting at is – this better be one spectacular horse or else why is anyone going to care? Are other people just more empathetic towards horses than I am? Would it also work if it was called War Donkey? Battle Pig? Or Conflict Cow? Would people flock (pun intended) to the cinema to watch Fight Sheep?
I am an empathetic person and I even quite like animals so long as they don’t come too near, be ambiguously damp or touch my stuff. But I am really going to struggle to get into a film about the love between one dude and his horse, even if it is a War Horse. Maybe, maybe I could get into a film about a War Cat as cats are obviously the best of all animals, although I suspect there might be copyright issues with He-Man and Battle Cat there. I’ve never really watched a film about a horse – there was that film Seabiscuit but it just sounds too much like it has something to do with Spongebob Squarepants to me which puts me off, and I can’t watch Black Beauty because the music gets stuck in my head for the rest of the year.
I was indifferent to the plight of Boxer in Animal Farm, and I did quite like the bit in Game of Thrones where Gregor Clegane kills a horse so maybe I actually have some subconscious dislike for horses, after all they do seem to have been made a bit redundant by the invention of the car. Perhaps it is just me, perhaps everyone else in the world just loves horses and I will never understand (like what has happened with James McAvoy).
Still, with the current craze for Vampires and Werewolves everywhere you look, everyone is looking for the next big thing. Perhaps that next big thing is horses. Perhaps War Horse is just the first of many stories about dudes loving their horses despite all the odds. So here is one off the top of my head: ‘Space Horse: Separated by space, tested by aliens, bound by friendship.’ I would watch the fuck out of that, actually.