Dog lovers beware: A Dog’s Purpose, adapted from the book by W. Bruce Cameron, is constructed with the sole purpose to make you weep like a newborn. Taking the bizarre concept of a dog living multiple lives through reincarnation (think the whole cat’s nine lives thing), it features a number of scenes in which your heart will be broken by the death(s) of the various cute and cuddly creatures that feature. But if you can make it through the horror of watching a dog wonder where his owner is as he is about to be put to sleep, the film is very sweet and very well done in the way it explores life through the eyes of man’s best friend.
The film’s controversy surrounding the treatment of animals on set is difficult to ignore during the two action sequences involving fire and water, yet the warm-hearted nature of A Dog’s Purpose is so comforting to the point where it’s difficult to not go along with it. For some, it may prove a little too sacherine, with a twinkly piano-heavy score acting as a cue to tell us what to feel. But with a message that essentially reads as “no matter what happens in life (or lives, in this case), we will all eventually find those we love”, its sentiment is one to be embraced in these dark times.
Charming, touching and really quite lovely, A Dog’s Purpose won’t be winning any awards for subtly anytime soon, but it’s a perfectly enjoyable family film that has plenty of chuckles and cute dogs. You may watch a lot of it through uncontrollable tears, but it’s still worth checking out nonetheless.
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