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Reader Review: The Water Horse

2008-04-14 17:19
What it's about:
Angus, despite his fear of water, loves to dig around in the shallow tidal pools surrounding the shore of the Loch Ness Lake. On one of his hunts he uncovers a large egg. He takes the egg home and it hatches overnight.
Angus names the creature Crusoe, after one of his favourite stories. When Crusoe grows too big to be kept indoors, Angus returns him to the lake where he faces dangers from the locals and German soldiers who are occupying the area.

What I thought of it:

This is a lovely family story which takes place in Scotland near the Loch Ness Lake. It has wonderful countryside scenery and music to set the tone.

The movie tries to bring to life the legendary story of the Loch Ness monster, and reveal the lives of ordinary people who were living during the time of the Second World War. Angus, a young boy whose father has been away at war for a while, has become withdrawn and isolated, and spends his days in solitude, poking around in the small rock pools surrounding the lake.

He holds hope that his father will return home, and reminisces of him and his father and the fond times they spent together. His mother is worried about him, and hasn’t the heart to tell him that his father was lost at sea some time back, and will probably never return home.

Angus finds friendship and love in the form of the water creature which he rears. The two become inseparable until it is obvious that the animal will need to be relocated to larger waters.

Angus also befriends the new handyman, whom he starts to look up to as a father figure. The handy man has a history of his own and quietly tends to his duties without trying to draw attention to himself. He takes a liking to Angus and his sister and helps the children keep the Water Horse a secret from their mother and the soldiers inhabiting their house.

All the characters in this movie have been affected by the war in different ways. Angus has become withdrawn, his mother has lost her zest for life, and the handyman was injured while fighting in the war and now gets by on doing odd jobs. The discovery of the monster, not only give the family new hope, but the small town too. After all the death and destruction they’ve been exposed to since the onset of the war, the monster intrudes on their lives, at a time when they are in desperate need of hope and maybe a bit of magic. Its appearance sparks wonderment and the feeling that anything is possible.
- Ashleigh Seton-Rogers

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