A Community’s Beacon of Hope
By Nirupa Mohan Dore
Dream Horse features a unique sports drama, based on the true story behind ‘Dream Alliance,’ a racehorse, bred by Jan Vokes, played by Toni Collette. Jan, a bartender from a small Welsh town, is a woman with a vision, to own a champion racehorse, with the help of a few from her local community. The inspiring feel-good movie shows how a struggling Welsh community finds hope, with a plot that is different from other films in the genre. Dream Horse is motivating, simply because the film highlights the lead character who has no experience owning a horse and doesn’t have enough money to buy a racehorse but is determined enough to breed her own racehorse.
The film portrays the individuals of the town with a cast of well-suited on-screen actors, with Owen Teale playing the role of Brian Vokes, Jan’s husband, while English actor Damian Lewis plays Howard Davies, a man with a background in horseracing and gambling. The film also stars Peter Davison as Lord Avery, Anthony O’Donnell as Maldwyn, Nicholas Farrell as Philip Hobbs, Steffan Rhodri as Gerwyn, Joanna Page as Angela Davies, Karl Johnson as Kerby, and Lynda Baron as Elsie, among other skilled members of the film’s cast. The movie with the taglines “Bred on an allotment. Born to win.” And “It takes a village to raise a champion,” the story gives viewers a walk through how Jan convinces her friends and a few others to join her syndicate by investing in a little money from the little they earn or have.
This was to try and raise enough funds, to breed a horse that has a chance of racing in the elite horse races, including the Welsh Grand National, with training and pure determination to climb the ranks in the industry. The story has heart, as it takes its audience on a journey, through the ups and downs of working towards a shared dream, with emotionally disheartening moments and those that have our hearts racing as viewers. This well-rounded story will have you at the edge of your seats, as you eagerly watch the races. Released earlier this year, the 113-minute film by director Euros Lyn, was produced by Tracy O’Riordan and Katherine Butler, working in collaboration with production companies Topic Studios, Film4 Productions, Cornerstone Films, Ingenious Media, Raw TV, and FFilm Cymru Wales.
Rated 88 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, 67 per cent on Metacritic and 6.9/10 on IMDb, Dream Horse received positive critic for its onscreen portrayal of a genuine crowd-pleasing story and for the lead Toni Collette’s convincing performance. The film like many this year, Dream Horse was initially scheduled for release in April 2020 but was delayed for over a year and finally started making its way to the big-screen and video on-demand, earning just over US$ 6.6 million at the worldwide Box-office in a struggling entertainment industry. This is a film that will be enjoyed by those who appreciate stories about defying the odds and, those who love horses and horseracing films. Referred to as the story of the “allotment horse who became a champion,” the PG rated film is a definite must watch for anyone who enjoys a motivating true story.