The Mustang (2019)


“I’m not good with people – Roman

Number of Times Seen – 1 (15 Aug 2019)

Brief Synopsis – An inmate in prison for murder is put in a rehabilitation program training and caring for wild horses.

My Take on it – This is a film that I came across by accident and knew absolutely nothing about before watching it.

The premise itself is unique and intriguing  since it tries to show the way that animals can be used in order to help rehabilitate prisoners in the penal system.

Unfortunately they don’t manage to develop any of the characters enough and they all seems to come across as caricatures or stereotypes that are quite superficial as we usually see in this kind of film.

The film comes across as being a bit more plausible due to the fact that it’s all based on a real system that tries to rehabilitate prisoners and has had lots of successes along the way and that helps many of the scenes work.

They manage to present many of the horse scenes in a very realistic way even though some of those scenes appear quite brutal since it adds to the realism of things at the same time.

The parallel between the nature of people who have committed brutal crimes and the wild horses is quite apparent throughout and that adds much to this premise.

Loved seeing Bruce Dern in a small yet significant role.

Bottom Line – Intriguing premise that helps show the way that animals can be so useful when trying to rehabilitate a prisoner. The characters are unfortunately not developed better and all of the ones we are introduced to seem a bit too superficial or stereotypical of films in this genre.  The fact that this is based on a real rehabilitation program that has seen success is helpful in establishing the plausibility of some of the scenes depicted here.  The horse scenes are done really well and although sometimes, they seem a bit brutal, they also feel realistic at the same time.  Dern is great in a small yet important role.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – In the movie The character Tom was playing by Thomas Smittle who participated in the actual program that the movie is based on. Thomas was in the program from 2019-2011 and had the top selling horse in the history of the program a red roan gelding that sold for $8500.00. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)

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One thought on “The Mustang (2019)

  1. Disagree with you here. I thought the movie was terrific. Characters were well developed. If you didn’t get Schoenaert’s character of Coleman or his relationship with his daughter (played by Gideon Adlon) – from what was there on screen – than not sure what movie you were watching. Agree on Dern.If you liked his “small but significant role” in this one – you’ll love him in “Peanut Butter Falcon” as well.

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