Dark Horse (2015)

I’m not a horsey person, nor do I tend to ever watch horse racing, but when I was younger we did occasionally watch the Grand National, as it was always the one race on which my granny would have a flutter. She had also taken me a few times to horse racing meets, which always seemed to me a strange mix of impossibly posh with the shabby plebeian, and were usually good fun, even if I didn’t have half a clue about what I was supposed to see in the horses as they paraded by. However, despite all that, there’s plenty even for me to enjoy in this story of an unlikely alliance of villagers in Wales who stumped up some cash and helped to breed and train a horse, Dream Alliance, which made it as far as that most august of British sporting fixtures. The ups and downs of Dream’s career are part of the story, which was unknown to me, so I shan’t spoil it for you, but suffice to say this film has plenty of zip, with heavy use of musical score to hold together the talking heads and archival footage, keeping things moving along at a fair trot. The filmmakers are attentive to the disparity in class between the villagers and most other horse owners and trainers, and hints that maybe the rich owners have less love for the animals themselves as for the sport. However, the bulk of the film is buoyed by the engaging charm of the villagers in telling their unlikely and emotional story.


© Protagonist Pictures

NEW RELEASE FILM REVIEW
Director Louise Osmond | Cinematographer Benjamin Kracun | Length 86 minutes || Seen at Cineworld Haymarket, London, Wednesday 22 April 2015

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