Lacking pace, and preferring to keep the story as stable as possible, Netflix film Rock My Heart attempts to drive an ‘against all the odds’ story.
A girl with a heart defect that is at risk of death by strenuous exercise, and a man who owns land and stables and is in desperate need of repaying the banks and requires a winning horse; it’s difficult to fathom if Netflix film Rock My Heart has its heart in the right place, especially when the racehorse trainer Paul Brenner (Dieter Hallervorden) recruits young teenager Jana (Lena Klenke) to be his next prospective jockey.
Hanno Olderdissen’s Netflix film tries to ascend an ‘against all odds’ story, with a rebellious Jana who prefers fight and flight from her overbearing parents to seek thrills, with her moody, biting body language opting to live the life she feels she should have at her age. Jana has the option to receive a life-changing operation, but this is a character that would prefer to place her risk elsewhere – a horse named Rocky.
The story of Rock My Heart has one major flaw that irked me throughout; despite her micro-managing parents, when the horseracing becomes a regular ordeal, their overbearing nature becomes missing. Surely as a parent, if you found out that an older man down the road is trying to mould your daughter, with a defected heart, into a jockey for high stakes racing, you’d sooner be knocking on the barn stable ready to throw some hooks. But Jana only has one influencer in her story outside of her parents, and that’s her ‘kind-of’ boyfriend Samy (Emilio Sakraya) who has a similar heart condition.
Rock My Heart does not land the story and justify the sweet-natured aspect of a business owner needing a young girl to repay his debts. There are early signs for Paul earlier in the Netflix film that Jana has a condition, yet seems easily convinced to allow her to continue, despite needing to inhale her medication every time she is about to get in the saddle.
And if you place down the principally wrong story for a few moments, Netflix film Rock My Heart is laidback, barely raising your excitement for the grandstanding moments in the final act. It prefers to keep the pace and story progression at a stable rate, being more careful than the character who needs to lower the pace. Jana is engaging, straying away from the usual sport-like heroics, with the actress opting for a more natural teenager approach, who is taking on horseracing as some new-found grace in life.
I recently watched another horse-related movie titled Walk. Ride. Rodeo, which is a sweet true story, but lacked the inspiration. After seeing Netflix film Rock My Heart I’m starting to wonder if horses should stay away from the screen as the main story arc.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.