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The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep

The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep is a 2007 family fantasy-drama film based on the children novel by Dick King-Smith called The Water Horse. It stars Emily Watson, Ben Chaplin, David Morrisey, and Alex Etel as the lead young boy. It was produced by Revolution Studios and Walden Media, and distributed by Columbia Pictures. It was directed by Jay Russell who was also one of the producers.

Plot.  The movie is about the extraordinary friendship between a young boy and a river monster known as the water horse which later becomes the fabled Loch Ness Monster.

It begins with a scene in a bar in modern-day Scotland. Here, an American tourist couple meets an old man who tells them a story about the Loch Ness Monster.

The film goes back to 1942, to the story of a boy named Angus MacMorrow who lives with his mother Anne in a large manor house on the shores of Loch Ness. One day, while looking for shells along the shore, Angus finds a large mysterious egg. He takes it home and hides it in father’s shed (Angus’ father has been missing since his ship sank in the war). Later when he checks it out, he is amazed discover that the egg has hatched and that an unknown creature has appeared, whom he names as “Crusoe.” He intends to keep it a secret, but later tells his sister Lewis about it. The girl explains to Angus that the creature is a “water horse” which lays only one egg and then dies before it can see it hatch. Later, the children realize that Crusoe is growing much faster and that hiding him in the house becomes impossible.

Meanwhile, troop of the 12th Medium Regiment Royal Artillery arrives at the house. Commanded by Captain Thomas Hamilton, the artillery sets up a battery near the lake as a defense against any possible attacks. The captain persuades Angus’ mother to allow him to teach Angus some discipline and make a soldier out of him, which she agrees.

However, few days after, Angus leaves the house and visits Crusoe in the lake where he has left it previously. Crusoe, now a very huge monster, allows Angus to ride his back and together, they swim and dive underwater. When Angus returns home, he is punishment for disobeying orders and is locked up in his room.

Two people have incidentally seen Crusoe, and wanting to become rich out of it, they attempt to take photos of Cruose. When they fail to see him again, they decide to create an imitation which results to real-life picture of the Loch Ness Monster (also known as “The Surgeon’s Photo”). The photo interests the soldiers who venture out on the lake at night to kill it.

In the film’s climax, an encounter happens by the sea. A surprise attack is done but Crusoe capsizes the soldier’s boat. In an attempt to calm him, Angus wades into the lake and is also drowned, if not Crusoe comes back to its senses and rescues him. Angus persuades Crusoe to swim far and leave the loch for shelter and safety. From the artillery battery, guns aim and fire at them. In a heart-breaking moment, Crusoe jumps and crushes the barrier net and escapes from the lake. Angus accepts fate and finally his father’s death. He never sees Crusoe again, though there are many people claim to have sited Crusoe over the years.

The movie returns to present day and it is revealed that the old man is actually Angus. Meanwhile, in the nearby beach, another boy discovers a mysterious egg among the rocks.

Commentary. This movie is personally one of my most favorite fantasy films for several reasons. Foremost, it has a very clear and good story. It is very simple and lacks the twists and turns in many fantasy films these days, which make is understandable and relatable. Secondly, it has so much moral lessons to teach its viewer, especially the children genre. It is a movie about family, love, friendship, and trust. It is very heart-warming and true-to-the-heart. Next, it has touches of humor from here to there which makes it very engaging and appealing from beginning to end. Lastly, the visuals and cinematography are just brilliant and perfect.

Reception. The movie is a gigantic box office hit. Critically, it is also very successful, garnering a score of 73 out of 100 in Metacritic.

Rating. This is one of the best children's movie I have seen. So five stars for this film.

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