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 horses ever bred, the purest and noblest lines, owned by the greatest royal families. In 1890, a wealthy sheik invited an American, Frank T. Hopkins, and his horse to enter the race for the first time. During the course of his career, Hopkins was a cowboy and dispatch rider for the U.S. cavalry--and had once been billed as the greatest rider the West had ever known. The Sheik puts his claim to the test, pitting the American cowboy and his mustang, Hidalgo, against the world's greatest Arabian horses and Bedouin riders--some of whom are determined to prevent a foreigner from finishing the race. For Frank, the Ocean of Fire becomes not only a matter of pride and honor, but a race for his very survival as he and his horse attempt the impossible. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Hidalgo is one of those movies that comes along once in a blue moon. This is a movie NOT to be missed.
Viggo Mortensen's portrayal of a gentle, laid-back cowboy hearkens back to the golden age of cinema and would make the likes of Gary Cooper proud! His subtle blend of virtue such as honor, honest and pride - without being the least bit preachy, make watching his performance an utter joy.
All of the actors are brilliant in their roles, especially the one in the title role! Hidalgo is clever and entertaining without being unbelievable as many animal movies are these days. You won't find him standing on his hind legs and doing the hokey-pokey, but his talents are very evident and he becomes a hero that we all love before the end of the movie.
One of the best parts of this movie is the fact that it is a movie by grownups for grownups, although it carries enough action and suspense that kids will probably like it to. Absent, however is the sickeningly sweet "kids scenes" that we simply cannot get away from in movies today. No charming close ups of dimple-faced waifs. No little wise-mouthed child prodigies - nothing but good old fashioned grown-up fun! How refreshing.
You will be happy to know that the ending isn't as predictable as it could have been. Although falling into the "happy" category (of course), there are poignant moments and you might shed a tear.
One other aspect of this film which I found intriguing is the issue of examining and accepting who we are. It was very well done and meaningful.
Overall this film is easily a 10+. Please see it
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