DVD Review: ‘Of Girls And Horses’

Alex (Ceci Chuh) is a 16-year-old caught up in drugs that has dropped out of high school. In a final attempt to set Alex straight her mother signs her up for an internship at a horse farm. There Alex meets the slightly older Nina (Vanida Karun), a riding instructor who is taking a break from her partner and life in the city.

Alex initially hates being stuck on the farm, but slowly over time she comes to enjoy it more as she gradually connects with the horses. Things get more complicated when a new girl, Kathy (Alissa Wilms), arrives at the farm for vacation, At first Alex dislikes her, but as the days go by the girls form a friendship that seems to be headed towards something much more serious.

‘Of Girls and Horses’ is an okay coming of age film that throws all subtlety away with its use of metaphor and coincidence. Alex’s growth as a person and discovery of how she wants to live her life is adjoined a bit too strongly to her interactions with the film’s horses. For example, at one point when she gets out of control emotionally and becomes distraught in the film the horses suddenly have escaped from their pin and they must be wrangled and brought back under control. Almost every scene is like this. At times I wondered if the plot would have less eye-rolls if it turned out that Alex was telekinetically affecting the horses and their behavior.

The heavy metaphor kills a lot of the film’s entertainment value. In general, it is a decent coming of age film, but not much else. Much of the plot is predictable (especially once it becomes obvious that as goes Alex so goes the horses), and this coupled with the use of many familiar genre tropes allows the film to drag and linger to the point of exhaustion.

‘Of Girls and Horses’ tries a bit too hard to make itself seem more artistic and deeper than its plot allows. It is not a bad film, but with a bit more subtlety and complexity it could have been a lot better.

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