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Review: Whitestar (2019)

NLD/Bentveld/20190730 - Stillsfotografie Whitestar dag #02 SC 44 Paddock - Handelstal - MEGAN geeft SALTO brokjes met EDDY, RON en ALEX komen Salto halen.

Director: Jamel Aattache | 82 minutes | family | Actors: Richelle Plantinga, Sterre van Woudenberg, Kees Boot, Valentijn Avé, Tina de Bruin, Pim Wessels, Bart Klever, Loek Peters, Victoria Koblenko, Britt Dekker, Sterre Koning, Florence Vos Weeda, Matt Harnacke, Tim Douwsma, Ton Does,

Films about adolescent girls and horses all seem to come from the copy-paste factory. There is always a horse owner who is definitely not worthy of the animal – who does not appreciate the horse in question, mistreats it or even mistreats it; invariably there is a competition (dressage, competition or the like) in which the protagonist has no chance at all, but leaves a haughty competitor behind. The Britt-Dekker vehicle “Whitestar” also does not contain an ounce of originality.

Britt Dekker is a presenter, YouTuber and horse lover. She got a horse, George, for her collaboration with Talpa. This horse and Britt herself feature prominently on the poster of “Whitestar” the that Britt conceived and co-produced. However, the lead role is for Richelle Plantinga, born in 1999. She plays Megan, a girl who works in a riding school and dreams of having her own horse one day. The older version of Megan – to be seen in one or two scenes – is played by Britt Dekker.

Megan lives with her mother (Tina de Bruin) in a cozy house. Her father was a talented rider before he died, and Megan must have gotten some of his genes, because she loves horses. She takes her work at the riding school of the grumpy Alex (Kees Boot) seriously, but it doesn’t make her really happy. Alex snaps at everyone and he doesn’t have much heart for the animals either. He’s doing it purely for the money. When a promising young foal does not yield the intended profit, because the animal cannot be ridden, he gives the animal to Megan in exchange for her wages. Of course Megan is not allowed to keep the horse from her mother, because she cannot pay the maintenance, but Megan has now become friends with Gerrit (Bart Klever), who used to train her father. Gerrit sees many possibilities in the special bond between Megan and the young stallion, whom she calls Whitestar. With the support of her friends Julia and Eddy, she successfully competes in a jumping competition. But then Alex finds out that he might have gotten rid of his horse too soon …

As said, “Whitestar” does not have to rely on originality, but also leaves much to be desired in acting. However, this is largely due to the woodenly written dialogues and the simplistic scenario, in which in particular comes off as an incredible jerk. The could also be a bit more subtle: if the roof of the house where Megan and her mother live, for example, leaks, her mother indicates that she has no money for a repair, as a viewer you just know what the selfless Megan is going to spend her savings on. Fortunately, is worth watching, she turns the timid, dreamy Megan into another interesting character. The camera work is adequate, but not very striking apart from some drone shots of the coast. The choice to have the scenes that take place “nine years later” by older actors (including Britt Dekker, who plays the adult Megan) is, however, incomprehensible: for the target audience this is only confusing. “Whitestar” will be fun entertainment for horse girls – and boys, but it’s totally interchangeable fun.

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