Windstorm (2013) Poster


User Reviews

Review this title
13 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
A spellbinding film which talks about following your instinct to achieve glory. A humane film which conveys a beautiful relationship between a horse and a 13 year old girl.
subramanian-s198618 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
"I don't know what I am good at" - When Mika, the protagonist of Ostwind, declared this to her friend after failing in her exams, I realized that she was resonating the sound of a vast majority of the contemporary youth. In her face, I could see all the frustrations and confusions of a young teen who is put into misery by the institutionalized education and the conformist society. Though she reflected a hatred to her adults and a childish ego, she was so pure and genuine in her expressions. As a film, Ostwind, succeeds in portraying this genuineness which ultimately helps Mika succeed.

The undisciplined and rebellious, 13 year old, Mika is sent to her maternal Grandmother to spend her summers. Mika vigorously opposes it, but her situation lacks any justification. She is sent to the suburban village where her Grandmother, an Olympian show-jumper runs a horse-stable.At this juncture, I expected a clichéd mentor-protégé story where the Grandmother counsels Mika to follow her passion which in this case may be horse-riding. Well, I was proved wrong. The Grandmother turns out to be stricter than Mika's parents and takes no interest in understanding the poor child. Mika is again drawn to her own world and explorations. The horse stable attracts her and there is where she meets the wild and untamed stallion - Ostwind (Windstorm, in English). That marks the beginning an unusual friendship as Mika realizes her unique gift of speaking and understanding the language of horses. However her Grandmother is least happy about Mika's new association as she believes that Ostwind is a dangerous animal and ought to be butchered. The grandmother had tried her level best to tame the wild horse only to get physically hurt by him. So she instructs Mika never to meet Ostwind. Mika disobeys and follows her guts. She is helped by the stable boy, Sam and his grandfather who teaches Mika horse-riding. In a small period of time, Mika grows to be a confidant girl who now knows what she is good at. The rest of the film deals with how she succeeds and proves herself by following her heart and tames the wild and unfriendly Ostwind.

As a story, Ostwind succeeds in portraying the glory of individuality. Usually in such coming-of-age films, untethered youth would meet a mentor who teaches them some lessons on morality, some tips on hard-work and a few on believe-in-yourself stuff. Ostwind never enters that territory. It just lets loose Mika and follows her instinct. The film does not attempt at judgment, doesn't even bother to give advices. It just has one focal point, which is Mika's instinct. Most of the films of the same genre do not celebrate the glory of individual at the level which Ostwind has tried. Those films take the route of preaching values and traditions and take the credit out of the individual. That poor guy or girl will just remain as an instrument in the hands of the conformist filmmakers.

Another beauty of Ostwind is that it has utilized all the possibilities of cinema. The growth of the strong bond between the horse and the girl is magnificently shown with beautiful wide angle shots. The camera has captured the green yards of the suburban Germany so well that we fall in love with those beautiful landscapes. The color tone of the film is extremely bright which syncs well with the positivity of the story. Background music is another attribute which sets the right tone of the film. The music might have been inspired by the gallop of a horse which stands for the pursuit of dreams. Throughout the film, the music maintains the powerful spirit and elevates the viewer's mind. Editing is something which I cannot miss to say about. Usually such feel-good films follow a slower pace, at least in the beginning, in order to establish a context. However Ostwind seems to be an exception there as well. Right from the beginning, at nowhere, the movie lags. The film establishes the characters quickly, giving all the due importance, and does not bother to entertain any unwanted ones. That is very evident in the scenes where we see the reins in the hands of the Hungarian butcher who is most often referred by the lead characters. We don't see his face, but only him waving the reins. The makers have willfully avoided his face.

The actors have also done a marvelous job, especially the young girl who portrays the role of Mika. She has just not lived the role, but has transformed into Mika. She succeeded in showing all the necessary emotions like stubbornness, genuineness, innocence and may be the dreamy lackadaisical approach to life. Another special mention has to be given to the well-trained horse which was the best-fit for the role. Kudos to those who managed and trained the animal! Ostwind is undoubtedly one of the best films I have ever watched. It could evoke emotions and happiness in the audience. It could bring smiles and tears and take you to a level where you feel anything is possible in this world and you could just go and grab it!
15 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Good Family Movie
rutzelb26 January 2017
The parents of Mika (Hanna Binke) send her to her grandmother to instill some structure and discipline in her. The grandmother was once an Olympic rider and owns a riding stable. Mika feels she is not good at anything, but discovers her talent when she befriends a troubled horse named Windstorm.

This is a good family movie about a love affair between a troubled horse and a human namely Mika. Mika discovers she has the gift of what a horse feels and they bond instantly. This is not as predictable as it may seem because there are a few bumps along the way that surprised me. (You're too easy)

This is a German movie and the English is dubbed in. After a while it is not all that distracting or noticeable as we get more involved with Mika and Windstorm. And involved you will get . The story is well told and you never want this to end.

As far as I am concerned this is as good as the movie The Black Stallion. (8/10)

Violence: Not really. Sex: No. Nudity: No. Language: No.
7 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Starts solid, declines soon
Horst_In_Translation2 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
"Ostwind" is a German 2013 film that runs for 100 minutes without credits. Children's films are fairly popular in Germany right now and this is another addition to the genre. The cast includes some fairly known actors, such as Jürgen Vogel, Tilo Prückner (channeling his inner Mr. Miyagi) and Detlev Buck (great director too). It's usually only the child actors that are relatively unknown in these kind of films and same goes for Hanna Binke as well. I guess this film exceeded expectation as director Katja von Garnier ("Bandits") directed a sequel pretty quickly too that came out not too long ago. But back to this one. The biggest weakness is certainly the script. The dialogs are pretty bad from start to finish on several occasions. And from the contest, in which Ostwind has his meltdown, it also becomes ridiculous in terms of the action. It's a collection of attempts at great emotion, edge-of-the-seat drama and possible tragedy and it's just too much that destroys all the film's credibility.

This film lack focus completely. The scenes with the majestic horses bay be fine to watch, especially for young girls, but the story built around it is never big screen level. It's also fairly ridiculous how everything is solved within the last 10 minutes: especially the mother-daughter relationship on 2 occasions, something that wasn't managed in years before that. And of course, in the end, there is another contest, so we forget about the messed-up previous one. I am also not too certain if casting Hanna Binke for the central character was a good choice. I cannot see a lot of acting talent. Her voice is monotonous and the same from start to finish, her face does rarely change at all, no matter if she is happy or angry and I am not at all buying that bad girl routine that she seemed to have had very early in the film. Possibly the actress who played Michelle, the main antagonist, may have been a better choice. She shows more emotion in really not a great deal of screen time. Marvin Linke did not convince me either, but his character also suffered from really bad writing more than any other, so it may not be entirely his fault.

As a whole, I liked this film much more when I watched it on the big screen for the first time. now that I saw it again, I must say it definitely has a lot of flaws and is really a pretty bad example of writing. The certainly could have kept it at 80 minutes if they had gotten rid off all the ridiculously over-the-top scenes in terms of the characters' relationships. I will probably watch the sequel I mentioned earlier at some point, but I cannot say this first film got me particularly curious. I just hope they toned it down a bit on the unauthentic emotional impact this film is trying to make. I don't have a lot of hope though as I see it was made by almost the same people. It is pretty ridiculous that "Ostwind" scored awards attention on several occasions. That "Best Children's Film" trophy at the German Film awards is especially a mystery. The 2 other nominees "Bibi & Tina" and "Sputnik" are definitely superior in my opinion. I cannot recommend watching "Ostwind".
4 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Found it in the original language
the_doofy23 June 2021
Second best horse movie I have ever seen, 'horse in a gray flannel suit' being the best

Some real horse training going on in this, and horse training foundation techniques, for a change whoever made this knew a LOT about horse training in agility

A little too much drama.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Unrealistic, OK, but perfect for dreamers
hattyukigyo31 January 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Mika is bad at school (normal life), but is good with the wild horse. I liked instantly the concept, I understood this will be a tale about talent. Mika breaks every rule she finds and yet nothing happens, apart from she finds her way. Her way that is also the way of the other "outsider" (the horse). They make "career" together, and Oma should accept them together. She can be proud of them. Even if she did not do anything really to any of them, just the opportunity to meet. While watching this movie, I had nearly constant smile on my face, this is the kind of film that gives you hope and inspiration to follow your dreams.
5 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A Good Horse Movie
searchersd19 January 2020
Just saw this movie streamed by IMDB, entitled Westwind, although it's in this database as Ostwind, the original German title. Although formulaic, a mixed up city teen gets sent to a horse farm to straighten her out, it is done very well in this case. Beautiful cinematography which succeeds in capturing the love between the girl and her horse. Since it is dubbed in English, we're probably missing half of the original screen actors' portrayal of the characters, but, on the whole, the movie engaged me until the end, even though I knew how it would end. Worth watching by teens and adults who love horses.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Some studs just won't listen - to anyone
rls15412 November 2014
To be sure, I've taken a hard look (actually it was shoved down my throat) at "spiritually-inspired training methods." Also, I'm aware of non US differences in techniques... Further, walking a horse off the Amish truck (Hungary) was not a foreign concept to me when I felt the need. And last but not least, I'm not here to "bad mouth" the film because movies are for entertainment purposes, with fictitious content - which should therefore not be subjected to peer review.

Having said all that, in the interest of harm reduction, I'd like to offer a few sentences:

Horses are extremely powerful animals and even the most docile weanling can cause serious injury to an individual unintentionally. No thousand pound class animal can be tranquilized and dropped in a few seconds with an intramuscular injection. Colts/Stallions in general, are not the type of animal you want to bond with - that's why most are gelded. Grooming takes place while a horse is tethered, preferably with cross ties. A horse in a domesticated environment requires a halter, at night, in a stall, it may be removed but should be replaced asap in the AM. Never lie down anywhere near a horse.

Outstanding lighting effects, please see it with your children - the ones that have reading skills.

The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.
5 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
mmthos30 October 2021
Yet another iteration of the "Black Beauty" theme. Could be unforgivably contrived if not so charmingly executed. Dubbing never helps, but preschoolers in the audience can't read subtitles. Attractive cast, beautiful setting. Watch out for the nameless, faceless "Hungarian"!
0 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
jimvandemoter-5023624 June 2019
The only version i found was dubbed, badly. If a movie is filmed in a different language I want to hear the original language with subtitles. The mouth movements never match up and can be distracting. That alone makes unwatchable.
2 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Genuinely one of the worst films ever made!
bencoops25 July 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This German film made me want to chop my legs off. It has many, many problems and no redeemable features whatsoever. The opening scene is supposed to be really serious and dramatic but it just comes across as funny. Then the next problem comes within the five minutes, the pacing. The main character is on a train, then at school, then at home and finally at the stables in the first FIVE MINUTES. It just happens so quick and it's just stupid. She has a temper tantrum that is funny, not dramatic at all. So I laughed twice in the first five minutes at things that aren't supposed to be funny, but there so poorly executed that you can't help but laugh, which is a poor start. While I'm at it the parts that are supposed to be funny are painfully unfunny. So the acting is awful. The main character is very wooden and stale like the loaf of bread you've never touched but have had for 6 months. The granny is just bland. The boy person is just ugh. The plot is highly stupid. When she's with the horse it's boring, well the entire film is. So you've got the granny who hates the horse because it gave her a bad leg wanting to get rid of it, and it makes this big deal out of the Hungarian guy which just ends up coming across as stupid. When the horse escapes it's in slow motion and it is really bad. So she gets trained by granpa as an excuse for a lazy montage sequence (I think there's two montage sequences but I might be wrong). She goes and impresses everyone with her horse skills and it's about to get really bad, well it already is. So this girl that's good at riding a horse wants to be the best horse rider at the stables so tries to stop the main character from doing well as a last minute attempt to get a villain in there and it's really lazy. Then she gets injured and runs away with the horse. She rides the horse for miles across roads to get to Fanny her friend. Then the horse is ill and gets taken away. Then she meets the horse in a field for a boring and predictable ending.

The film is highly predictable, clichéd, stupid and dumb. I give Ostwind 0/10
3 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
dupelose2 May 2022
I quite enjoyed it. Nothing groundbreaking about it. Second part was really fast forward, relationships were??? If you have bad relationship with your mamma, you become quantum physicist.......... classic horse chick flick film.. I liked all the shots with horse and our redhead, but the ones of them running couldve been better..... Overall liked it😌
0 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
One of 10 best Horse Films!
dioriomark7 November 2022
OK, right off the bat I want to say this film is superb in the German format as Ostwind. So much is lost in translation/dubbing. I also want to say that some of the points in other reviews could be debated, but as it was said, this is strictly rating the film. The scenery and music are breath-taking, and the plot/acting great too. One of the "errors" pointed out is that it is dangerous sleeping with a stalled horse. But this is a crucial aspect of the plot. Herr Kahn recognizes Mika has a Noirsoj, one who has a special bond to horses, because of Mika sleeping with Ostwind. It is with this awareness that Mr. Kahn develops a unique training program for Mika, one where she truly bonds with Ostwind. I think watching them train together was the best part of the film. This film inspired me to become involved with horse rescue and care. I wanted to see what that kind of bond could feel like and fell in love with our horses. I found an article that rated the 10 best horse films and this one was listed. I couldn't agree more. P. S. I rated Windstorm an 8 because of dubbing, but IMdb doesn't list the original German Ostwind. That film gets my 10.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Girl-oriented cliché
petrsudoma26 August 2021
It's not type of film i like but generally it was ok. The story has been one big cliché but what should I expect from girl-oriented film from 2013. Actually i was forced to this film by my girlfriend and because she's horse lover, she loves this film. I wouldn't watch it on my own but it wasn't boring.
0 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed