Are you in the mood to become emotionally scarred and cry hysterically for a couple of hours? Then this movie is the one for you.
A Dog’s Purpose follows the multiple reincarnations of a dog through different breeds, roles and social context. For example, in one life he serves as a police dog, in another a student’s lap dog, a young man’s companion etc.
Narrated by Bailey the dog’s internal monologue, this film does not shy away from any common issues in society, spanning over the past 50 years; issues such as alcoholism, animal neglect, poverty and loneliness, all witnessed through the unique perception of man’s best friend. For example, he thinks that his owner is looking for food in his girlfriend’s mouth when kissing, and befriends a ‘horse-dog’ (which is in fact a donkey).
In each life, Bailey is trying to figure out his ‘purpose’ (aren’t we all?!) and spends his life having fun and making his loved one’s happy, which sums up dogs pretty well I think.
This film had the potential to be really naff, the trailers were quite lame, the plot is predictable and the acting will not win any Oscars. However all of this can be excused because of how powerfully it affects the audience’s emotions, and isn’t that the purpose of film in the first place? To resonate with the watcher?
Indescribably heart-breaking, yet heart-warming at the same time; do not trust anyone who doesn’t cry at this movie, they must be dead inside. This will turn the entire audience into ‘dog people’, and change the way we look at our furry friends forever. Stay hydrated and take some tissues; you’re going to need them.
First published in Marketplace Magazine, Bourne.