By Chris Dugopolski
The opening lines of this movie state that there are over 100,000 mustangs roaming the American West and the U.S. Government can only manage a small number of them. We see a helicopter noisily rounding up a herd and corralling them. A number of these horses arrive at a prison where they are used to rehabilitate some of the prisoners. The rehabilitation being that the prisoners are to tame and train the horses for sale at auction. Matthias Schoenaerts plays Roman Coleman, who participates in the program mostly by accident. One of the horses (the mustang of the title) is held in a separate barn when Roman notices him kicking against the walls and he become curious. Roman has spent twelve years in prison and most of those years were in solitary confinement. In a one-sided conversation with the prison psychologist played by Connie Britton, he admits that he is not good with people. The rest of the movie is the story of the training and the changing of Roman. Most of the rest of the cast are actual prisoners with actual Mustangs. It is a good story, fantastically acted by Matthias Schoenaerts, who obviously is also a “Mustang.” For me the movie is reminiscent of The Misfits, the last movie in which Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable acted. It also dealt with Mustangs and their taming, though with a completely different story. In both movies, the horse is a very important character.
Robert Redford is listed as an executive producer, but this is a French movie directed by Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre.