War Horse responds to a fan letter:
Thank you for your interest in the movie War Horse. I am glad it has inspired you to learn more about my exploits during the Great War. Most people are more interested in the human side of the story- I’m glad to see you “bucking” this trend. Pun intended.
However, rather than watching the movie, I implore you to pick up my memoir, Give that Horse a Hand: the War Horse Story, at any local bookstore worth a damn and read what really happened.
Because I must inform you that I have been to the initial screening of War Horse and I must say that I am disgusted. The characters are unsympathetic and quite unlikeable. The scenes of war are nothing like the real experience of being there. They show me as “brave”, but in truth I was quite terrified the entire time. I am a horse and, like all wars, this wasn’t my fight. I took no sides except to just stay alive and run like hell (cue epic music).
And the special effects are grotesque. The scene where they replace my front hoof with a human hand is completely unrealistic. My hand looks nothing like that Frankenstein concoction!
I must also tell you that the story presented is almost unbelievable had I not lived through some parts of it. And the acting is atrocious. When they get that two-bit bag of dog food that plays me to recite a single line of the regurgitated tripe that they call a script, he sounds more like Mr. Ed than yours truly. I have always been told that I have a voice like Morgan Freeman, not like a simpering gelding. And why is it that the role of the Equus always so stereo-typed? Like my friend Flicka used to say, not every horse speaks with a drawl and wears a common snaffle bridle. Show some respect, Hollywood!
In the final scenes, where they show my “death” – hello, I’m alive – the screen is overwhelmingly thick with every movie cliché in the book. My “rider’ has tracks of tears that run down over the mud on his face like a Mississippi bayou after a levee break, bellowing and spitting a final farewell that is intended only to manipulate the audience into “feeling” in the final moments of a story that lacks any feelings at all.
In any case, if you do see the movie, please see it at the matinee and make sure to get a few drinks in you first. You will need it. I wore blinders and a feedbag and it wasn’t enough.
Yours in oats and whey,
Joey “War Horse” the Horse
Reprinted with the permission of Joey the Horse