Film Review: The Mustang

The Mustang is not an action film. It is not a Disney or a Marvel and it has no hi tech CGI effects. It is a small film about wild horses and prison inmates. At least I thought that was what it was going to be. But it is a lot more than that. This is a gritty film about life in a prison where the inmates are long term criminals who have committed brutal crimes against their fellow humans. It is about wild horses who are more than just therapists; they are the teachers and the redeemers.

The film centers around one criminal Roman Coleman , played with delicate precision by Mattias Schoenaerts, and a buckskin mustang that has been brought into the prison program where some of the inmates work with the wild horses to make them suitable for adoption. The relationship does not go smoothly and it a far cry from any horse whispering movies. It is the horse that teaches Coleman to let go and let live not the other way round.

The film’s director Laure de Clermont-Tonnere does not spare us the realities of prison life. There are some moments of violence that make this film unsuitable for small children. It is not a cute horse movie. But it has a powerful message that is well delivered. The acting is first rate and the performance of Bruce Dern as the head trainer is marvelous!

I recommend this film. It now has a general release , possibly due to Robert Redford’s role as executive producer, and if you get a chance go and see it. It’s worth it.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Thank you for your review. I was so excited about this movie when I first heard about it, then one of my friends gave it a bad review, and told me to not go see it. I was so disappointed. I will reconsider now. I wont bring my daughter though. I think this prison program is wonderful (weird to use a beautiful word like that about these criminals,) I think it gives them a whole new chance at life. I hope that shines through in the movie. I worked at a ranch not far from this prison and I’ve been to a couple of the horse auctions they have, after a mustang completed this program. I’ve also been to some horsemanship clinics where people have been bringing horses that were trained by these prisoners. I love all horses, but mustangs vibrate on a different level than other horses, I’m not saying that they are better in any way, just that it’s easy to pick up on their energy level. It’s extremely intense to be in the presence of a mustang. It was a childhood dream of mine to get to know a wild horse. I had the pleasure of getting to know a few by now, and it was more fantastic than I imagined. You have to give them a piece of your soul, but they’ll give you everything.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you for taking the time to leave this comment. I think this film is very well made and worth seeing. It is not easy going however and has some disturbing scenes . These are not of the horses being abused but about the realities of the prisoners lives. At the end of the film there is a notice about the places that have the programs with horses and prisoners. And I agree about mustangs. My first horse was a mustang. He was not wild when I got him but was very nervous of humans. I was 12 and we formed a wonderful bond. I jumped him and rode him in eventing in California. He was fearless on the cross country courses. I had to sell him later but I knew the person who bought him and over 15 years later still had him and he was being ridden by another young girl. I still think of him often.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Wow, that is a great memory to have!! They are special horses once you have their trust. I do want to see the movie now!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Emma Cownie says:

    Ah, the poster alone makes me want to see it!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Amy says:

    Thank you for the review!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Megala says:

    Thanks for your review & recommendation, I will definitely watch this movie.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. dprastka says:

    Thank you for the review Maria! ❤️ I’ve heard about this movie as it’s been on my Facebook feed for awhile now and have been waiting for a more general release. I also listen to a WONDERFUL podcast called “Horses in the morning” and they watched and reviewed it as well. One of the hosts, a certified Monty Robert’s trainer has adopted 2 wild mustangs from that prison program. It’s a fun podcast and they have tons of disciplines they cover and it’s so fun to listen to on my drive to work or even at work sometimes! Anyways, I will look this up and see if it’s playing locally. 🐴🐎❤️😊

    Liked by 2 people

  6. JD says:

    This is a painful, substantive film. The performances are amazing. Loved it!

    Liked by 2 people

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