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A fine horse tale

Although some movies adapted from books are pretty shabby, this doesn't seem to be the case with "Flicka."

"Flicka" is based on the novel "My Friend Flicka" by Mary O'Hara and the movie differs from the book right from the start, since the book's Ken becomes a Katy. However, the sex-change of the main character was not necessarily a change for the worse.

The opening scene is of a final exam, which many students might recognize from their own collections of bad memories. However, the girl on screen isn't alternating between scribbling frantically and glancing up at the clock, but gazing out the window and obviously daydreaming her heart out. Before long, it becomes apparent that the girl, Katy McLaughlin (Allison Lohman), doesn't just reserve daydreaming for final exams.

Soon after the exam, Katy returns for a summer at her family's quarter-horse ranch after a year at her elite boarding school. With the unpleasant prospect of repeating a grade looming on the horizon, it doesn't take her long to find trouble. She has the misfortune to stumble upon a wild horse which captures her heart the same day the school informs her father, Rob McLaughlin (Tim McGraw), that she will probably have to repeat a grade in school. Adding to the drama, the McLaughlins are in desperate need of money to keep their ranch going.

Rob reacts furiously with Katy for her poor performance in school and pointedly rejects her pleas to find the wild horse. Undeterred, Katy launches a disastrous attempt to bring the horse to her family's ranch.

Although Rob forbids Katy to enter the horse's enclosure, she sneaks in to try and tame the horse every night. She names the horse "Flicka," and persists in feeding, bridling, and eventually mounting the horse, despite the many injuries she sustains. When Katy's unsuccessful attempt to ride Flicka wakes the whole ranch, her father is livid. Rob immediately sells the horse to a wealthy buyer. Katy concocts a far-fetched scheme to reunite herself with her horse friend.

"Flicka" is a delightful movie, blissfully devoid of the excessive crude language and humor which seems to plague so many modern movies. The plotline is somewhat predictable but relatively straightforward and clear. The film is better for sticking to a relatively simple plotline and not adding unnecessary plot elements.

As great a movie as "Flicka" is, it does have a couple glitches. A couple minor plotlines aren't clearly resolved. Also, at times, the occasional scenes of racing herds of horses are slightly nauseating.

All in all, "Flicka" is a movie worth spending both time and money on, and recently, that's definitely a horse of a different color.



Review: 3 1/2 stars (Out of 4)

Thealyn Ploetz is a sophomore at Eden.

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