3 hours ago
Sunday, 8 January 2012
Was the film 'Bambi' to blame?
'War Horse' is another major film I'm going to let pass by me for the reason of its depicting horrific suffering to animals - even though I know full well that any film coming out of North America, western Europe or Australasia would never have been made where actual pain had been caused to any such being. (The roof would cave in on the film-makers if it was made known or discovered to have taken place!)
Nevertheless, though I'm fully aware of this, just witnessing animals being shown as going through hardships and pain, even when contrived, is something I cannot bear to watch. At least human beings have a choice, they are getting paid and, should they be unintentionally injured, they will be compensated.
The film is based on the stage play of the same name which has been wowing critics for many months. I haven't had the opportunity to see it but in the 1980s I did see the Peter Shaffer play 'Equus' on the West End stage before the Richard Burton film came out. (It's been done again recently on Broadway with Daniel Radcliffe) On stage the horses were stylisedly played by actors carrying horse-shaped frames, in the same manner that horses are being depicted in the stage play of 'War Horse'. In the film of 'Equus' actual horses were used and though no animals came to any harm in the climactic and realistically shot horse-blinding scene, it had been intended to look real and that, for me, was a step too far - and I've not seen the film since or do I want to see it again.
Generally, seeing what is meant to depict the suffering of animals on screen is something I cannot abide. (There are, incidentally, other things which make me miss films, mainly because they just bore me to tears - boxing, in fact any films which features a sport in a big way, plus films with over-smart or wise-before-their-years kids teaching adults how they should live their lives.)
I cannot say that 'Bambi' is definitely the reason why I find witnessing the suffering of animals in particular, so hard to take. Most likely I'd be the same way if I hadn't ever seen the film. But the fact is, that particular film left me with a life-long mental scar which, in a peculiar kind of way, I'm actually content, even a little bit proud, to still bear.
But sorry, Mr Spielberg. I won't be tipping any of my money into your pockets for 'War Horse' - and besides, why do you have to have made such mawkish films in recent years. (The rot started for me with 'E.T.' - a film I wouldn't see for a second time even if I was paid to!). Let's have another 'Jaws', 'Close Encounters' or even the wonderful 'Duel' please! - but 'War Horse'? No way, Jose!