En 1890, Frank T. Hopkins, dorigine indienne, est considéré comme un des meilleurs cavaliers de lOuest américain. Son mustang Hidalgo y est pour beaucoup. Invité par le cheikh des cheikh à participer à lOcéan de Feu, une course de près de 5000 km dans le désert arabe, il devra affronter bien plus que les tempêtes de sable ou les nuages de sauterelles.
Inspiré par des événements réels, Hidalgo mêle habilement film daventures et western dans une production souvent spectaculaire et efficace, malgré la présence de quelques effets spéciaux peu convaincants. Bien que les questions morales (la loyauté, la pureté, le courage) qui y soient posées ne relèvent pas de la plus grande originalité, que les clichés narratifs, (comme les caractérisations des peuples arabes et américains) y soient légion, le film tout de même assez palpitant peut compter sur les interprétations des charismatiques Omar Sharif (Laurence dArabie) et de Viggo Mortensen (Le Seigneur des anneaux) ainsi que sur la présence dun cheval particulièrement expressif et charmant. Un making-of et un court-métrage sur lhistoire des mustangs complètent la présentation sur DVD. Helen Faradji
But the Oscar goes to the horse, Hidalgo. (actually there were 5 horses) I can understand why Mortensen bought Hidalgo afterwards; their relationship seems totally genuine and sincere. (...)
The answer so far is not clear. But I believe he will. He is just too talented. Disney really muffed the ball. Six months before the movie came out it was hit with a hue & cry by historians offering evidence Hidalgo was far from factual. But then, stop and think. Since WHEN did Hollywood ever present TRUE history. One only has to look at Braveheart and Rob Roy to see great movies - shoddy history. It's always been the case with Hollywood. So Disney made a BAD decision to push this as "a true story". Even before the movie was released, there was a growing feeling of "Anti-Hidalgo".
For me, leave Disney faux pas at the door. While loving Rings, leave Aragorn at the door. And just enjoy. Movies are not for learning, they are for entertainment, something often ignored or forgotten. This is a very enjoyable movie. Directed by Joe Johnston, a rather new director (Jurassic Park III and some of the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles), he does well in giving an old-fashioned adventure for the whole family. It's filmed with an eye of beautiful imagery.
Viggo plays Frank Hopkins, who tried to make himself a legend in his own time. Many of Hopkins claims have been proven false, but as I said, this IS Hollywood. Hopkins supposedly was a rider/messenger for the Army after Little Big Horn, a time when the US Army extracted vengeance by massacring non-rebellious Indians at Wounded Knee. One of the saddest incidents in US history. He delivered the ordered that set loose the massacre. He had left, but hears the gunfire and returns to see the result. This cripples him emotionally. Hopkins life falls into an endless tour of towns with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, where he's billed as the greatest horseman and his horse, Hidalgo, is the greatest horse in the world because of the countless races he has won. Hopkins inner pain is compounded by seeing the Indian's portrayed in a shabby like by the Wild West Show.
Things shift for Hopkins, as an Arab visiting American challenges that claim Hidalgo is the fastest horse in the world. He demands either stop making the claim or have it proven in a race called the Oceans of Fires. Everyone chips in to help Hopkins and his horse compete. It's a grueling contest that sees riders and horses falling by the wayside, but Hopkins faces more than just finishing, there are Arabs determined that the American not win.
Don't nitpic, don't try to read political undertones into it, just sit back and enjoy. Viggo, a devout horseman, clearly bonds with the amazing Paint. I have never seen a horse with such an expressive face. Very understandable Viggo bought the horse.
I advise getting the widescreen version. The regular edition just seems too cramped. Also, there are times when Viggo is speaking with an Indian in the native tongue, or Omar Shariff is speaking to his daughter in Arabic, that it's not subtitled, so you are left sitting there going...so? Otherwise the transfer is beautiful.