A Dog's Purpose Review
Director: Lasse Hallström
I was in two minds about watching this film after all the controversy that came out a few months back with director and stars questioning what happened, some were reported to even boycott the film and the US premier was cancelled. A supposedly leak video of a German Shepard being mistreated during filming, clearly being force to do something against his/her will. I have seen the clip myself and was initially very annoyed, but, I wanted to wait to see what the responses and the final outcome was before getting on my high horse.
I asked myself, do I still go see the film? seeing as I'm committed to my hobby of seeing as many films of all genres as much as possible. But I was torn by my affiliation and admiration for our furry companions. I prefer dogs to most human beings and I'm proud to say my first true best friend was a dog. As much as I love them, and have always wanted one to keep each company I have refrained purely because I have to think about the dog also. I mean, it would be selfish for me to have one when I'm still working and wishing to travel. I figure we'll be ready when I'm finally settled down and I can give the dog the good life they rightly deserve.
The video was quickly refuted by the American Humane Association as being a fake but I believe the damage had already been done. Much like any of today's faux news. Once the idea is out, true or false, the notion lingers long after. Myself here even contributing by writing about it. But it had to be said.
Now I'll got that out the way, I'm going to talk about Hallström. I adore his films, the stories he tells and the style he tells them in. No matter the subject, whether it be a twist of fate, intoxicating chocolat or even a fishing village. He seems to turn something totally ordinary into something enchanting. It's clear he's a dog friend too, directing possibly the most touching dog movie to date, the tear-jerking Hachi: A Dog's Tale.
The film is based on the fairly well-received titular novel written by W. Bruce Cameron, first published back in 2010. Where we follow a dog's persona first named bailey, who journeys through cat lives whilst trying to understand his purpose, mostly by observing his various owners. But it focuses on one particular owner making the story more about him bringing it round full circle.
Bailey is voiced by Gad throughout in a Look Who's Talking Now style, who provides a rather childish, comical mind to Bailey that probably appeals more to the younger audiences. He is very sweet and endearing that attracts puppy love though I feel trying to squeeze the whole story into the 100min runtime pushes out some of the emotional magic that should have been there. Don't get me wrong, it's very touching and heartwarming, and I imagine it being a challenge to balance duration and emotional investment.
Overall it's a tail-waggingly good story that'll pull on the heartstrings of anyone, not just dog lovers. But it's not of Hallström's best. It hit home personally for me but for other reasons other than Bailey. It's a lot more than just a dog's tale.
Running Time: 7
The Cast: 7
Job Description: 8
The Extra Bonus Point: 0
Would I buy the Blu-ray?: Maybe to complete my Hallström collection.