Review: Flicka 3: Best Friends – Flicka: Country Pride (2012)

Flicka 3: Best Friends – Flicka: Country Pride (2012)

Directed by: Michael Damian | 90 minutes | drama, family | Actors: Kacey Rohl, Lisa Hartman, Clint Black, Teryl Rothery, Max Lloyd-Jones, Siobhan Williams, Alexander Calvert, Emily Bett Rickards, Katharine King, Laura Soltis, Rustin Gresiuk, Holly Kay, Rusty Humphries

‘Flicka 3: Best Friends’ (or ‘Flicka: Country Pride’, as the film is on the shelves across the Pacific) is already the third film about the beautiful black mustang Flicka. The first installment, based on Mary O’Hara’s book My Friend Flicka, was a modest theatrical success in the United States, but the film only became profitable when it was released on DVD. Follow-up ‘Flicka 2’ (2010) fared less well, but nevertheless 20th Century Fox was of the opinion that there is always a market for horse films. And they are right about that too. So, six years after the first movie, it’s time for ‘Flicka 3: Best Friends’.

‘Flicka 3: Best Friends’ has hardly anything to do with that first film. The film is excellent to watch on its own, although there is a single reference to the second part. There is a fairly large role for country singer and actor Clint Black, who plays the role of Toby. But most of all, ‘Flicka 3: Best Friends’ revolves around Kelly, a girl of about sixteen, who tries to keep the ranch of her recently deceased father running with her mother. Since her father’s death, Kelly has not played her favorite sport, eventing (also known as military in Dutch). Mother Lindy has a heart of gold, but is therefore not the best person to make a equestrian center profitable: girls can stable their horses for free in exchange for chores.

Lindy has a similar deal for newcomer Toby: he gets the position of equerry and can house a number of horses in the stables. For Toby, this opportunity comes very conveniently. After a fire that injured his leg, it’s easy for the cowboy to live close to a physiotherapist. In addition, it takes a while before his stables are rebuilt. Toby has a very special horse with him: Flicka. Flicka and Kelly click right away and Toby gives Kelly permission to ride Flicka.

Kelly used to have a best friend, Stephanie, but for some time now she just looks down on her. Could that have something to do with their attractive classmate Briggs? Or is there another reason Stephanie is acting so snobbish? And now Lindy and Toby have more feelings for each other than a business relationship actually allows? Fun fact: actress Lisa Hartman (Lindy) and Clint Black are married in real life, so that chemistry that splashes off the screen has not been played out.

‘Flicka 3: Best Friends’ follows the familiar pattern of a children’s film, in which a number of obstacles have to be overcome, setbacks dealt with and wise life lessons to be learned. But don’t let that be a reason to skip this movie. The traditional craftsmanship radiates from the film. The acting is excellent and the cinematography is very nice. You will be irrevocably impressed by shots of the beautiful natural landscapes in which a horse trots, with the filtered sunlight shining on its shiny coat. The music contributes to the feeling that you are being manipulated a lot, but if you are open to it, you will definitely be carried away by the story – predictable as it is. You may even find yourself on the edge of your seat during the inevitable competition that the entire film is built towards. ‘Flicka 3: Best Friends’ is of course extremely suitable for (teenage) girls who love horses, but also an ideal film for families who still value morality and for whom entertainment needs to be devoid of foul language and obscene jokes.

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