The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Some international students at Texas A&M have been struggling to pick up groceries because of limited transportation options from campus to H-E-B and Walmart on Texas Avenue.
Former A&M employee sentenced to 5 years for hiding restroom camera
The employee, who worked for Transportation Services, was sentenced Friday
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • June 24, 2024
Graduate G Tyrece Radford (23) shoots the ball during Texas A&Ms game against Kentucky on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024 at Reed Arena.(Ishka Samant/The Battalion)
Projected Top 5 picks of the 2024 NBA Draft
Roman Arteaga, Sports Writer • June 25, 2024

In the 2024 NBA draft, there is an incredible amount of talent available for teams to pick. We have players from college basketball, G-League...

Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) reacts in the dugout after Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 24, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
United they fall
June 24, 2024
Texas A&M pitcher Kaiden Wilson (30) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Winner-take-all
June 23, 2024
Eats & Beats at Lake Walk features live music and food trucks for the perfect outdoor concert.
Enjoying the Destination
Cara Hudson, Maroon Life Writer • June 17, 2024

For the history buffs, there’s a story to why Bryan and College Station are so closely intertwined. In 1871 when the Texas Legislature approved...

Chris Hemsworth as Dementus in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.
Review: ‘Furiosa’ is a must-see
Justin ChenJune 4, 2024

My jaw dropped open in 2016. Rarely in life does that happen, but the viewing experience of “Mad Max: Fury Road" was something to behold....

Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) reacts in the dugout after Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 24, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
United they fall
June 24, 2024
Texas A&M pitcher Kaiden Wilson (30) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Winner-take-all
June 23, 2024

‘Horse Girl’: off-beat and off-mark

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Photo by Creative Commons

The Netflix film “Horse Girl” was released on Jan 27.

At the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, the streaming superpower Netflix purchased an artistic, off-beat approach to drama in “Horse Girl,” directed by Jeff Baena and co-written with Alison Brie. This film missed the mark severely. The plot follows what can be presumed as a socially awkward young woman left to fend for herself after enduring a life of trauma, but loses its originality halfway through its runtime after intersecting the genres of drama and sci-fi. While the concept is fresh and stands out from Netflix’s previous distribution catalogue, the substance is overshadowed by the cast and consistently takes itself too seriously.
Throughout “Horse Girl,” the protagonist, Sarah, played by Alison Brie, flip-flops between socially unaware and almost scatterbrained to knowledgeable. However, Brie’s performance reads as innocent, since it is difficult to imagine anyone other than herself playing such a strange, misunderstood character. Most of the supporting cast in “Horse Girl” is recycled from Netflix series or films, playing characters opposite their typecast. Debby Ryan plays an unlikable roommate who attempts to sympathize Brie’s character but never fully commits to understanding her. Molly Shannon is a sympathetic craft store employee who genuinely cares. John Paul Reynolds is the cute and quirky love interest.
While this is an attempt to break stereotypes surrounding these actors, it boasts no breakthrough performances other than Brie’s. Sarah is tragic and unsettling because she is almost independent but remains child-like. The trauma Sarah faced in her life is revealed slowly, but piece by piece, the audience understands why Sarah is so strange.
“Horse Girl” fits somewhere between highlighting the importance of acknowledging mental illness and worshiping the supernatural since Sarah shows signs of schizophrenia. Although she is never formally diagnosed, she raves about clones, aliens and time travel. Sarah has a strange attachment to a horse she rode in her childhood. This obsession is never explicitly explained but can only be presumed to be a security figure in her life. Overall, the plot is convoluted, and plot points are never fully developed to grant a deeper understanding. It did not help that the Netflix distribution team marketed the film as an off-beat drama. Baena is unsure of where he wants to go next and resonates as surface level.
A decent attempt by Baena at an odd and unparalleled film, “Horse Girl” left the wrong devices to the imagination and most questions unanswered. Some unique elements that should be highlighted are the risks taken in the third act. While the ending leaves gaps to be filled by the viewer’s imagination, it is the most concrete aspect of the movie because the ending is sure of itself and, besides Brie’s performance, is the only saving grace of “Horse Girl.”
Possibly worth a second watch to gather a better perspective, but certainly not a film topping any lists this year, “Horse Girl” is a nice offering from Netflix. While not spectacular, it is a decent departure and a hopeful new beginning for storytellers.

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