Of Horses and Men

Boy, was I wrong.

Before we went to see Of Horses and Men on Saturday, I watched a trailer to get some idea of what it was about.

Within thirty seconds of watching the trailer, I came to the conclusion that it was going to be a stereotypical portrayal of rural Icelandic life.  There was the Country Squire, dressed in his brown suit, preparing to ride his horse.  Then there was the Bumpkin, sitting on the bonnet of his Landrover, knocking back some hooch while watching something through his binoculars.  There was a Pretty Posh Horsey Girl, also intently watching something through binoculars, and it looked like there was going to be a whole slew of people wearing Icelandic sweaters and those funny knitted hats with long ear flaps.  So I ended up expecting a rather twee movie – possibly an Icelandic version of one of those movies that presented Ireland as a land of Aran-sweater-wearing redheads who lived in thatched cottages and used a donkey and cart to get around.

I repeat : Boy, was I wrong.  There’s nothing twee about this movie.  It seesaws between comedy and tragedy, foolhardiness and heroism as it follows a seemingly random series of events in the lives of the inhabitants of a remote valley.  The best I could come up with as we left the cinema was “Well, that was strange.”

Was I glad to have seen it?  Yes I was.

Would I recommend it?  No, not to everyone.  If you don’t like seeing horses and humans coexisting in a harsh and frequently violent environment, it’s not for you – there is some gore!  That said, there’s loads of footage of pretty Icelandic horses, tölting around all over the place and lots of dramatic scenery, too.

We’re still talking about it, two days later, but that’s all I’m going to say about it, because I don’t want to give away any of the storyline!

If you’ve seen it, I’d love to know what you thought!

PS. Pretty Posh Horsey Girl turns out to be my hero.  And that’s not a spoiler.

 

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