Flicka is another version of the stereotypical coming of age horse movie. It features Country singer Tim McGraw as the father of a family who struggles to raise quarter horses on a Wyoming ranch. When a wild mustang, eventually named Flicka appears on the scene, the family’s life becomes even more jumbled and challenging. Much of the plot gets devoted to the teenage daughter and her relationship with her father, this mustang, and how they are at odds with each other at times, and how she is also mirrors her father. This film also explores the issue of the financial difficulties of running a family run ranch given that the land is worth considerably more to real estate developers than what it is worth through livestock or agriculture production. A final theme of Flicka is how the children are needed to run the ranch, but if the next generation really is willing to embrace this as their livelihood, when a less rural lifestyle beckons so strongly.
Visually, Flicka is quite appealing. I’m not sure if this was filmed in Wyoming, the movie’s setting, or somewhere else (many modern day Westerns, like Open Range, are made in Canada to find enough open space), but the background landscape is stunningly beautiful. It made me think about a trip to Wyoming, a state I have not previously visited. If owning a horse ranch in Wyoming is so pretty, you can count me in!
While there really isn’t anything too new or groundbreaking here, what results is a timeless tale that is appropriate for the entire family. If you’ve enjoyed a film like Dreamer, or to a lesser extent Seabiscuit, than I’m sure that you’d enjoy Flicka as well. Those looking for “theater of the absurd” or avant garde type of fare should venture elsewhere.
Overall Grade: B+