Saturday, October 16, 2010

secretariat review

I just got back from seeing Secretariat the movie. It was pretty awesome. The movie focuses mostly on Penny Chenery, the owner of Big Red. As a horse/Secretariat aficionado I was paying most attention to the horse and his groom Eddie Sweat. I'm not the happiest with how they portrayed Eddie. At one point they made him look like a somewhat crazy guy. But, truth being that Eddie was just very passionate about Secretariat and racing in general. Diane Lane does a great job portraying the character of Penny. Even though I'm not very knowledgeable about the person of Penny Chenery I believe that she did a great job. Definitely some great acting from both the big names and no names. The music was absolutely astounding and I plan to buy the soundtrack when I get the chance. They chose orchestra music for the races and it worked beautifully. Probably my favorite part was at the beginning when they showed a slow motion shot of a galloping horses stride. It was amazing. I've never seen it framed so well; you saw every little part of the stride and it's amazing what a gallop looks like.

But, as a horse fan I would have liked to see Secretariat get more screen time. Though the film makers did the best they could to describe how Big Red would literally pose for pictures and would look through people and actually observe, not just watch people, there's no substitute for the real thing. I don't like how they made Sham and his owner the "bad" characters. In truth Sham was also an amazing animal who would have been the triple crown winner any other year other than 1973 when Secretariat took over. My basic consensus is that if you aren't a horse person or familiar with Secretariat it probably won't be your kind of movie. But if you're interested in the amazing equine athlete you'll probably enjoy it.

One final thought. The beginning opened up with a reference to to story of Job. First off I didn't think Disney would ever take something from the Bible. Secondly it was about how apparently when Job was questioning God, God said something about horses. I personally don't remember that part of Job, but I'll check.

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