Oh My Dog movie review: A heartwarming, likeable drama about a boy and his dog
Oh My Dog movie review: Sarov Shanmugam debut movie is a warm and cute tale of a boy and his dog. Though not without a few flaws, it will appeal to kids and grown ups alike.
Debutant director Sarov Shanmugam’s Oh My Dog, which introduces actor Arun Vijay’s son Arnav in a memorable role, will hold a special place in the list of movies for dog-lovers in Tamil cinema. As a genre, movies about dogs are very rare in Tamil, and to have it backed by Suriya as the producer, is the perfect icing on the cake. With its simplistic storytelling and relatable situations, especially if you’re a dog parent, Oh My Dog makes for a highly heartwarming and likeable drama that beautifully explores the bond between a young boy and his best friend. (Also read: Beast movie review: Vijay shines in this mall invasion thriller that’s bogged down by flippant writing)
Arnav plays Arjun, who lives with his parents and grandfather in Ooty. But before we get to know more about Arjun and his escapades, we are introduced to Fernando (Vinay), a highly narcissistic businessman who breeds and trains dogs for competitions and has won the Dog Championship title six times in a row. Everything is business for Fernando, who even scolds one of his dogs for not bearing more puppies. When he finds out that one of the newborn puppies (a Husky) in his kennel is almost completely blind, he orders his two sidekick buffoons to kill it.
The plan goes haywire and the puppy manages to escape and eventually get saved by Arjun, who decides to keep it against his parent’s wishes. He names the puppy Simba and it's friendship at first sight. The rest of the story is about the adventure of Arjun and Simba; how they join forces to bring down Fernando.
The simple plot of the bond between a dog and its master is beautifully explored in Oh My Dog, which dumbs down a lot of things. With a kid at the center of the plot, filmmaker Sarov gets a lot of leeway to go a little overboard with respect to storytelling but it never sticks out like a sore thumb.
The film draws basic inspiration from movies like 101 Dalmatians, especially when it comes to the character of Fernando being inspired by Cruella De Vil; but it still has elements that are original and rooted in Tamil culture to make it more accessible. It would’ve been nicer if the film chose to have a mongrel or even a local breed of dog instead of a Husky to encourage more people to adopt and raise strays.
Arnav Vijay makes an assured debut and his scenes with Simba are some of the best moments of the movie. There’s a lot of innocence in the scenes featuring Simba and the kids which only works in favour of the film. Oh My Dog, which is currently streaming on Amazon Prime, is not just a movie for kids but it appeals to adults as well with its message about not giving up.