Broken Horses is broken on so many levels. To begin with, I will take the kid who can’t act first. Whoever did the casting concentrated on his features alone, that and how much he would resemble Chris Marquette growing up. As the lame boy struggles with his lines without an expression on his face, Thomas Jane goes on to show his acting prowess by imparting brilliant gravity to his role.
We soon meet a guy called Hench played quite beautifully by Vincent D’Onofrio. Surprisingly his entrance and introduction to the tale gets smeared by poor direction. An unimportant dispensable element to the story was Ignacio played by Sean Patrick Flanery. He gets lost in a pointless plot. So does a horse that was merely kept to justify the movie moniker, and also to blast out five seconds after two bullets get fired. Chris as Buddy seemed as if he was on the verge of having a nervous breakdown. The plot that surrounded Garza too was an exercise in futility.
Screenplay is really poor. The drama also doesn’t stir you up. Actors seem to act on preordained tracks. The score is average albeit occasionally the violin would take things up for a while. The direction is quite mediocre and scrambles awkwardly with a predictable plot. It lingers along with the poor editing of the movie and goes on in a weird pace.
There is one scene wherein the camera captures Buddy in the background mourning as his brother beseeches Hench to let him help his brother out. I didn’t comprehend why was there a need to take all three of them in a single shot? He looked more animated acting at a distance, unfocused, mourning, simply spoiling the gravity of the talk. Even little things in the movie are explained or told by actors taking audience for fools. For instance, as we see a grown up Buddy version he instantly tells his brother that he had a haircut. I mean, why do you even need to spell it out? We knew who he was! Du-uh!
The movie being a Vidhu Vinod Chopra flick, I went in with high expectations. That could have been the cause of my big disappointment. There was nothing thrilling. Just a bland tale projected with a bleak vibe.
Eventually, I would still call it an average flick uplifted only because of Vincent and Anton’s performances. However, I would suggest you pass this one!