By Samantha Hazen
Disney’s “Secretariat,” released on October 8, is a feel-good movie that charms, whether or not you love horses. The cast put their hearts and souls into their characters, and showed audiences the struggle one must endure on the journey to the top.
Secretariat’s true story was guaranteed to gallop onto the big screen. The horse won the Triple Crown in 1973, the first to do so in 25 years.
The movie showcases Secretariat’s owner, Penny Chenery (Diane Lane). If it were not for Penny’s risk-taking, Secretariat would not have competed in a single race.
Lane’s performance was striking and motivating. Chenery lost both parents in a short span of time, but few tears streamed down her face. She constantly traveled and had to leave her family for long periods of time to pursue her dream. She remained optimistic, even when investors turned her down, and when she had trouble finding a new trainer for her colt, “Big Red.” She showed her true character by standing strong despite obstacles. Many people did not believe in her vision, but she displayed a touching amount of forgiveness for everyone after the final race.
As for the horses that played Secretariat, they had a fierce look in their eyes and hooves that were ready to run. The camera angles played up Secretariat’s fierce demeanor by utilizing close-ups of his eyes, his stomping hooves, and his heavy breathing before the starting gates flew open. Although I knew the true story before seeing the movie, it kept me on the edge of my seat. My fingers were crossed for this courageous thoroughbred and his wonderful owner, trainer, groom, and jockey.
I shed a few tears of happiness, pride and appreciation. I happen to own one of Secretariat’s numerous grandsons, a 16-year old grey thoroughbred named Weathermark. Though my horse has not lived up to his expectations on the track, he still radiates the determination and guts that his grandfather had when he’s doing events.
At the final race, Chenery told Secretariat she had already won because she made it farther than anyone thought she would. I thought that was the most powerful line in the movie.