A Dog’s Purpose is quite a soppy tearjerker, says Rashid Irani
You wouldn’t think pooch antics and games of fetch would amount to much, but it’s a surprisingly effective film.
A Dog’s Purpose
Cast: Dennis Quaid, Josh Gad (voice only)
Director: Lasse Hallstrom
Rating: 1.5 / 5
The Swedish-born, US-based filmmaker Lasse Hallstrom is clearly an ardent dog lover.
Eight years after helming the doggy tearjerker, Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, he offers another moving tale about Man’s best friend.
The viewer’s interest in A Dog’s Purpose is sustained, despite the overt mawkishness of the story, by two clever gimmicks.
First, a golden retriever and his multiple reincarnations — as a crime-fighting police dog, a lovelorn Corgi, etc — are able to articulate their thoughts like any human being.
Even more importantly, their metaphysical musings about the meaning of life are voiced with easy-going charm by Josh Gad.
The narrative is weighed down by the usual pooch antics, including games of fetch and disruptions of family dinners.
The climatic shenanigans give rise to full-blown schmaltz when the retriever starts to play matchmaker in order to reunite his first master (Dennis Quaid) with his former girlfriend.
While the settings look as pretty as pictures, the acting honours belong, paws down, to the cast of canines.
With alarming frequency, Lasse Hallstrom manages to activate the viewer’s tear-ducts. Animal lovers in particular are advised to keep those tissues handy.
Watch the trailer for A Dog’s Purpose here