Based on the true story and subsequent international best-selling novel about James Bowen, a recovering drug addict whose life was saved by the companionship of a stray ginger cat, A Street Cat Named Bob strikes a strange balance between family-friendly feline-fun and hard-hitting human drama.
One moment you’ll find yourself laughing at a cutesy cat gag, and the next you’ll find yourself in a bout of shock as a heroin addict is found dead near James’ new home. It’s a juxtaposition that can be quite jarring at times and although there’s nothing here that’s quite as adult as Trainspotting, the film’s darker elements may be worth baring in mind for any parent who plans to take younger children along.
Ultimately, though, it is a film that deserves to be seen by as many adults and young adults alike, with an important message about addiction and homelessness that may just change your way of thinking the next time you see somebody selling The Big Issue. And despite the darker elements, the story is an uplifting one which will leave you beaming from ear to ear and fighting back the tears of joy.
Director Roger Spottiswoode does throw a lot of creative ideas into the mix which never fully pay off – a ‘cat-cam’ which shows Bob’s perspective is clever but far too fleetingly used, and the film’s brilliant original songs are never focused on enough for it to become a fully-fledged musical – but any minor quibbles I might have pale in comparison to the whole picture. A Street Cat Named Bob is simply warm-hearted, good-natured cinema which, with festive tints to the story, will be sure to make you feel all fuzzy inside. It deserves as much support as possible, so go see it.
Image credit to http://www.impawards.com