A Grieving Daughter finds Peace
As a young girl Natalie (Heidi Creel) had to deal with something no child should have to deal with, the death of her mother to cancer. It leaves Natalie struggling to deal with the loss even after the first year has passed by. It is one day whilst talking with her busy father that she finds a white rose which belonged to her mother which miraculously hadn't wilted, leading her to believe it is connected to her mum. She also believes that her mum wants her to visit the Nevada horse ranch where her mother had grown up. It is there that she comes across a mysterious white horse which seems there to not just help Natalie to come to terms with her loss but others also.
I wish I could be more enthusiastic when it comes to "Natalie's Rose" but this movie did such a poor job of grabbing and keeping my interest that I would be a fraud to try and big it up in anyway. And it seems I am not alone as whilst I have come across some reviews which praised this horse movie/ piece of Christian cinema I have found equally as many which found it weak and uninvolving. It makes me wonder straight off the bat as to whether "Natalie's Rose" works best not only for those who are the age of Natalie but have also lost their mother and are seeking some sort of answers to help deal with it.
But that leads to what for me is a major issue for "Natalie's Rose" as young Natalie seems to be coping very well with the loss of her mother. Yes there are scenes which explain that she is scared to get close to anyone as she doesn't want to feel that pain of losing someone again but for the most Natalie comes across as doing fine. Of course this is also a movie about Natalie seeking answers as to why her mother had to die, why did God have to take her? And between the never dying white rose, the mysterious horse and being where her mum grew up are going to help her come to terms with God's bigger picture but this has such a meandering nature that it never succeeds in drawing you in.
And just quickly, because I don't feel good criticising a movie which clearly has its heart in the right place, there is an incredibly staged feel to "Natalie's Rose". There is a scene where having decorated a Christmas tree Natalie sits down at the piano to sing a song, the fire burning nicely behind whilst meanwhile one of the ranch hands is out with his guitar standing next to a fire with one leg on a rock and singing the same song as he surveys the land stretching out in front of him. It is simply too staged and in being so what is meant to be a pleasant scene then becomes cheesy.
What this all boils down to is that whilst I can understand why some might enjoy "Natalie's Rose", as it's heart is in the right place, it didn't work for me and between a meandering nature and staged scenes it was hard work.