SIMPLE YET PROFOUND AND MOVING
FILM REVIEW: A DOG’S PURPOSE
By Meanne M. Mijares
Directed by: Lasse Hallström
Produced by: Gavin Polone
Screenplay by: W. Bruce Cameron, Cathryn Michon, Audrey Wells,
Maya Forbes and Wally Wolodarsky
Based on: A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron (Novel)
Starring: Dennis Quaid (adult Ethan Montgomery), Britt Robertson (young Hannah), Josh Gad (voice of Toby, Bailey, Ellie, Tino, Waffles and Buddy.), KJ Apa (young Ethan), Juliet Rylance, (Elizabeth Montgomery, Ethan’s mother) John Ortiz (Carlos Ruiz), Kirby Howell-Baptiste (Maya), Peggy Lipton (adult Hannah), Bryce Gheisar (8 year old Ethan)
Narrated by: Josh Gad
Production Company: Amblin Entertainment, Reliance Entertainment,
Walden Media and Pariah Entertainment
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
This film is a great treat to all dog lovers out there, no doubt. This is the only film about dogs and their humans I’ve watched that really made me shed lots of tears after Babe, The Gallant Pig, Bwakaw and Hachiko. In fact, I have almost consumed two rolls of tissue then drank 2 glasses of water afterwards! It’s true, absolutely no exaggerations, here! So many happy and bittersweet memories of my beloved pet Cookie (crossbreed of Japanese Spitz and Aspin), her daughter Chloe, her grandchildren Hugo and Heidi and her sister Miranda came back. They all have crossed the Rainbow Bridge and surely enjoying Heaven to the hilt. How I miss them so- most especially my Cookie. I had her for 10 years until she passed on due to old age. I could go on and on saying how much they are loving and adorable.
The film depicts the unbreakable bond between a devoted dog and his beloved master and is indeed an affirmation that brings a smile of appreciation, a seed of inspiration and a rejuvenated wonder of the inscrutable wisdom of Our Lord has the moment He created them. All these are gentle and heartwarming reminders how blessed and fortunate we are to have them in our midst!
Having a dog is truly a blessing and helps one become a better person. They enrich our lives in so many ways. In case you may not know, they imbue holiness and instill good values into our lives. They teach and inspire us to be loveable by loving us unconditionally. There is also a saying that I hold dear in my heart: “Heaven is a place where all the dogs you have ever loved run to greet you.” It keeps me going and inspires me to do better each day.
Deep down inside their quirky characteristics, personalities and crazy antics, they are God’s creation and thus, they have value and worth. They walk with us and become part of our life journey, share our experience through trustworthy and faithful companionship, strong protection and reliable concern.
Dogs can intuit medical problems and conditions which state of the art machines cannot. They expose criminal activities, provide rescue, therapeutic and rehabilitation services. Dogs perform acts of bravery which we humans cannot and how they do it without hesitation for their owners and strangers. The film showed how Bailey, a Retriever dog, rescued Ethan’s family from a house fire caused by a spiteful classmate as he throws a lit firecracker as a prank then Bailey attacks Todd, who is apprehended by the police; then as Ellie, a German Shepherd police dog, by saving the life of a kidnapped girl from drowning as she jumps into a scuttling river and saves a kidnapped girl from drowning, and is then critically shot to death during a melee with the armed kidnapper who was just a moment away from killing an unwary Carlos, a decorated cop, her master.
Now as a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, he forms a bond with college student Maya who names him Tino. She is a lonely gal, which Tino, having bonded closely with her, realizes, and makes his purpose to find her some happiness until she ends up marrying Al and have 3 children who all love and adore him. As he lies dying of old age, Tino thanks Maya for giving him one of his best lives.
As Waffles, a St. Bernard-Australian Shepherd mix, he was taken in by a rude and negligent urban couple. Waffles is being left in the cold with hardly any food and water until he was eventually dumped in an abandoned lot to fend for himself and reluctantly sets off in search of a new life. This part really made me mad because it reminds me of the terrible cruelty stray dogs suffer from the hands of heartless people. I am grateful that there is an Animal Welfare Act in the country so those who threaten the lives of poor innocent dogs or any creature will be put behind bars.
As Buddy, eventually he joyfully reunites with his old master Ethan, who is now in his 50s, living a solitary life and seemingly broken in spirit at his grandparents’ old farm, which he now owns and runs. This part of the film reminds me that one day we will be reunited with our Creator who made us fearfully and wonderfully in His image and may we be in the state of grace when that happens. It reminds me too of what Our Lord said: “I know My sheep and they know Me” when I watched the scene with his beloved childhood pet Bailey performing a few tricks and responding to main phrases that were known only to the two of them decades ago.
Now I know why dogs are called as such because when we invert the word it is spelled as GOD. They are angels in disguise and yes, in fur. They are heavenly envoys showing us a glimpse of Our Lord’s unwavering, benevolent and triumphant love and the purpose of life according to the film, is about having fun; saving others; not getting caught in the past or regrets; finding someone to be with; living for today and be here now. And if I may add: living life to the full.
Dogs remind us to be true to ourselves and the greatest gift they can ever give us is that we are dearly loved-forevermore. That is something we should truly and always cherish. Be sure to have a box of Kleenex tissues and glasses of water when you get to watch this film.
I rate this film a perfect score of high five paws! And I am sure my beloved pets Cookie, Chloe, Hugo, Heidi and Miranda would agree as they wag their tails and jump the highest they ever could.