Dream Horse; Grade: B
Dream Horse tells a story about a grocery store clerk/bartender Jan (Toni Collette) residing in a small town in Welsh. Jan wants more out of her life than just doing her ole day jobs, as she has quite a passion for animals as she won some dog races in the past and raises some ducks. Jan partakes in breeding a race horse, as surprisingly it’s inexpensive with help from others. Jan holds a meeting putting in shares to breed a race horse, as it turns out nineteen others would like to be apart of something special. Jan acquires a lovely race horse in Dream Alliance, as their journey into the racing world is upon them.
The Cinematography was fine, I enjoyed the camera work with regards in some racing scenes, as they were impressively shot, especially the final race where you're on the edge of your seat. The Score was lovely, enjoyed the soundtrack selections as they fit in with the kind hearted tone of this film. The cast as a whole was delightful. Toni Collette playing Jan played a solid performance, quite a charming performance indeed. Enjoyed the character Jan, as many would heavily relate to her, regarding feeling unfulfilled in the work force, as they want more out of their life than just doing a simple job and making a simple wage. It was cute that Jan wanted to breed a race horse not because of making money, but because it was bringing meaning to her life and it was something to look forward to in life, as animals is her passion so it was awesome she followed her passion regardless of making any money, she wanted to do it because she loved it as I respect her for that.
I do have flaws with Dream Horse. The predictability in this film does standout like a sore thumb. I knew exactly where things were heading, especially where conflict was bound to happen as the music pretty much gave that away, so there wasn't that many surprises within this story. We've seen many race horse films in the past, heck we've encountered a race horse that was a Zebra... How can anyone forget Racing Stripes?! Though this film doesn’t do anything spectacular, however though the predictability, it perhaps is a delightful cute little movie.
The story itself is a cheesy underdog story, that does in a way have a profound message. It simply advises the viewer, that they should do more out of their life than just doing a simple job and making simple wages. You only live once and you should take advantage with the time you have and do something, where you feel fulfilled within your soul, following a passion or doing something out of the ordinary that does interest you, to the point where it does bring excitement into your life. Let's scratch off simple wages for a second, as even if you make a solid amount in wages, that you can still be unfulfilled as well if you don't love what you're doing. You look at a character like Howard (Damian Lewis), whom makes a decent living as a tax advisor, but as you can clearly see he feels a great amount of unfulfillment, as he sits behind a desk putting in numbers from the stack of files. Sure Howard makes a decent living, however what is the point if you feel absolutely nothing from it, other than pure boredom and unfulfillment?! That's why there is more to life than just a piece of paper, that you must enjoy your time here to the fullest, and do something worth meaning to it. Everyone involved with this horse finally for the first time, felt they were doing something meaningful in their lives, it brought them joy and something to look forward to in life.
When it comes to the underdog race horse stuff... It was simply cool to partake in. I also enjoyed how in this story, how the races were done has some kind of challenge within them, than just racing around a long enduring lap. I mean we have a difficult obstacle, in which these horse have to hurdle... Not only the challenge was significant to the point where a horse and jockey can get seriously hurt, but it really just shows how spectacular these animals are, the level of competitiveness is quite inspiring. I enjoyed the whole family/town dynamic, where everyone feels totally involved with this race horse. Even those who didn't pitch in for this horse, it's cute that it felt as if this horse was still theirs, as it represented this town and the horse even made a name for this town as well. The film has a fair amount of likeness to offer, it's honestly an enjoyable cute feel good movie that should inspire others.
Overall, Dream Horse was solid. I recommend checking this one out, especially if you're down and out or feel as your life feels directionless, this should inspire you. -Mitch Smietana