Hidalgo (2004)

Tagline: The True Story Of A Man Who Went Halfway Around The World To Find Himself.
Runtime: 2 hr. 15 min.
Genre: Action & Adventure
Theatrical Release: Mar 5, 2004 Wide
US Box Office: $67.2M
Synopsis: Held yearly for centuries, the Ocean of Fire–a 3,000 mile survival race across the Arabian desert–was a challenge restricted to the finest Arabian… [More]
Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Omar Sharif, Louise Lombard, Said Taghmaoui
Director: Joe Johnston

I love the art of cinema and believe that we are blessed to be born in an age when this form of art had blossomed into its totality, revealing its awesome beauty and power to entertain and influence the human mind. So I do see a lot of movies and I must confess that some movies are very inspiring. So inspiring that it teaches us immortal values through the story it tells us… So inspiring that my hand moves and takes hold of my pen so that I can write a review on them, so that others may know of such a wonderful creation… and I must say that one of such movies I had seen is Hidalgo (2004).

Hidalgo tells us the story of Frank T. Hopkins, born to an American father and a Red Indian mother and his horse Hidalgo. Hidalgo is a mustang breed of horse which were seen in the wild in Northern America and used wildly by the Red Indian tribes. Although the horse is difficult to tame it is beautiful, powerful and robust. But it is disliked by the American colonist as they find the horse to be a mixed breed and “colored”. But Frank loves his wild horse and often used to go on long distance races which always won. He and his horse becomes famous in the Western world for their long wins .

The movie shows a scene in which American soldiers disarm and massacre a group of Red Indian tribes. This scene reminded me of the fact the Red Indians were massacred in large numbers before the British colonists occupied their native land. I remember reading somewhere that about 15 million Red Indians were systematically eradicated by the whites… a fact which will remain in the history of America as long as its exists. The fact that the foundation of this nation is laid in the blood of the natives who once freely walked that land. So now the red Indians are reduced to a minority who live in the various pockets of United States of America.

Back to the story… The Americans decided to eradicate the mustang breed of horses as they feel its wild and cannot be tamed and I guess also also because they simply didnt like it as the Indian’s horse. A turning point comes in the story when a Arab messenger is sent from an Arabian Sheik to challenge Frank and his horse. A 3000 miles long distance race is held in the Middle East by the Sheik or King which is called the Great race of the Bedouin. This is a survival race and the participants have to go through an extremely dry and hot desert area know as the “Ocean of Fire”. and The Sheik is troubled and feels dishonored that a horse from the breed of mustang and a American cowboy is holding a title as the World’s greatest endurance horse and rider. So he challenges Frank and his horse to come all the way to Arabia and take part in the race. This is the background of the story and I don’t want to waste the thrill of you seeing the whole movie. I recommend everyone to see this movie… a must see.

The main character of Frank T. Hopkins is played by Viggo Mortensen. At first I was not able to recognize Viggo. It was only after a while that I realized that this is “Aragorn” from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. His acting is passionate and worthy of praise. The scene in which he reaches the middle of the Ocean of Fire is my favorite. Hidalgo is wounded and falls, the rider is thirsty, tired and weary. When he takes his gun to shoot his horse, he sees his ancestors come dancing around him as a mirage… bringing with them hope and their blessings. The special effects here is brief but outstanding. A person who has been to a desert and seen a mirage will say so, and I have.

This movie teaches us again the values of the relationship between man and his fellow creatures.

Some of the quotes from the movie:

Frank T. Hopkins: Mister… you can say anything you want about me. I’m gonna have to ask you not to talk about my horse that way.

[the Sheik offers to shake Frank’s hand]
Frank T. Hopkins: What about your ability to tell the future?
Sheik Riyadh: If I had the ability to foretell the future, perhaps I would have bet on a painted horse

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