Films: Hidalgo

Oh dear lord – I am stuck in some horrid Chrimbo Limbo. And the worst thing about staying with family? Good luck hearing the telly, should you actually want to watch anything. Between the kids and their new toys (WTH with Dave The Funky Shoulder Monkey?), the dog who is SO happy to see Ben that it is almost SHOUTING, and the verbal diarrhoea brought about by either booze or age (or both), you may have to make up your own dialogue.

That said, I did manage to pick up most of Hidalgo yesterday. It helps that a lot of the dialogue was subtitled (as it had a lot of Native American and Arabic speech), and the rest was just epic swooping shots of running horses.

It’s hard not to love this film. It is not a fantastic film, plot wise, dialogue wise, etc. But it has a charming horse and a charming cowboy, played by the enchanting Viggo Mortensen. And it is a feel-good Christmas sort of thing, where an animal basically thinks it’s people, we root for the underdog, the baddies consist of a load of foreigners and a pretty lady, and we ultimately see a lot of pretty landscape.

Viggo – I mean, Frank Hopkins – defies the impossible and wins a desert race in the Middle East, with an American horse. Whilst he’s at it, he makes friends with a sheikh (despite himself being a “filthy infidel”), saves the sheikh’s only daughter and shooting a lot of bad guys.

Ultimately, a film with more style than substance, but if you just need to kick back and watch some moving pictures, Hidalgo is pretty enough. Especially if you like horses and deserts. Which I do.

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