In the film “The War Horse” directed by acclaimed film-maker Stephen Spielberg a major character is teenage farmboy Albert Narracott. Albert is the English boy who raises Joey, the thoroughbred war- horse around which the movie is based. We follow Albert’s life from Devon in 1912 and into the First World War. The director uses many different film techniques such as scene composition, camera shots, sound effects and dialogue to show us Andrew’s great character attributes.
Albert is a stubborn, hardworking character who uses Joey to plough a field full of rocks, even though it is an impossible task for a thoroughbred. The director uses interesting scene composition and camera shots to show this. The scene opens with an extreme long shot of the grey sky and farm which gives a sense of foreboding. There is a shot where Albert comes to the field he must plough, which is overgrown and seems to go on forever. There is a cut to the rusty, old plough itself which shows how difficult a task this will be. Later there is a long shot of Albert and Joey ploughing in the driving rain and showing the plough moving quickly through the earth. There is a feeling of triumph under trial portayed through Albert’s stubborn hardwork and refusal to give up.
The director also shows how courageous Albert is in powerful scenes of the Battle of the Somme. He does this by using impacting scene composition, camera shots, camera movements and sound effects. Albert is seen on the front line with his best friend Andrew and and their childhood nemesis David. A close up shot of Andrew shows him to be shaken and terrified, and a long shot shows him huddling with the other filthy British soldiers in a muddy trench. It is clear battle is imminent and Andrew does not want to go. Albert offers words of comfort to Andrew and when the whistle is blown Albert bravely climbs over-the-top and charges into no-mans-land. The camera pans and uses craning to show the whole horrifying battle scene. Sound effects include the deafening noise of shelling and the awful screams of men dying all around. Albert runs on undeterred through the mayhem, then sees David wounded. Close up shots show Albert’s courage as he bravely pulls him to shelter.
The dialogue in this scene also shows Albert’s deep loyalty and compassion. In the trenches a sergeant is seen collecting valuables; “Valuables in the bucket, lads. If you live, you'll get them back. If you live, you'll get them back. Good lads”. Andrew looks terrified and says “Maybe it's a drill, Albie. Maybe it's a drill like last time”. However you can see that this is no drill. When Andrew is suddenly ordered to stay in the trench to shoot deserters Albert encourages him by saying “It's good. Andrew, it's good! Nobody's retreating today.” Although facing almost certain death himself, Albert shows great loyalty and compassion by offering comfort to Andrew (although he is actually staying in the trenches where it is safer).
The character of Albert Narracott has many great character attributes. Set against the backdrop of trials and war the director uses camera techniques such as long shots, close up’s, panning and craning to demonstrate the hardwork and courage of Andrew at his home and in war. The film techniques of powerful composition, sound-effects and great dialogue also show Andrew’s courage, loyalty and compassion in battle. Scene Study
The scene at the Battle of the Somme of the movie “The War Horse” by Stephen Spielberg is a very realistic and shocking battle scene. Three film techniques have a major impact on the effectiveness of this scene. Great composition, skilful camera work and sound effects are used to make this scene interesting and realistic, clearly showing the horrors of war.
The beginning of the scene shows great composition to demonstrate the awful conditions at the Somme. It starts with shots of filthy British Soldiers in the trenches on the