Review: A Dog’s Way Home

4 April 2019

What better way to bring together a community than through a shared love of dogs?

A Dog’s Way Home is a heart-warming film about a rescue pup and her perilous journey home. The premise of the film is simple. In Colorado, boy meets dog and they build a relationship together until animal control comes in and presents a problem. The solution is to temporarily move the dog away, to New Mexico. However, she escapes her new home and then sets out on a 400-mile adventure home. Whilst the not the most intricate of plot lines, we, the viewers, are blessed with being able to watch a very cute dog on the screen for an hour and a bit.

The story of Bella does leave one’s heart full of love. Her story has her make many friends, some more unlikely than others. On her journey, she saves a man’s life, and in return gains a new family, keeps a homeless man company and mothers a baby mountain lion. Bella is nothing if not heroic. Still, the story, however adorable, is very cliché. This is not helped by the soundtrack of the movie which features acoustic covers of ’Everywhere’ by Fleetwood Mac and ‘Lean On Me’ by Bill Withers.

A Dog’s Way Home is redeemed by its cinematography. The film features some beautiful scenery shots to help paint the connection to nature and build that sense of disconnect from Bella’s family life. This aids the narrative of heroism built around Bella. The audience is made to feel the isolation that Bella experiences in the wilderness of the forest but this is always resolved when Bella is adopted into a new family, whether animal or human.

The narration of the film is entirely within Bella’s voice and uses unnatural language which makes the movie all the more endearing. For example, rather than “going home”, Bella would say that she is “doing go home,” a reference to a command taught to her by her original family.

Overall, the film is fine. It’s the kind of movie that would best be enjoyed curled up in bed after a long day with the intention to have a good cry and leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside. A Dog’s Way Home is no cinematic masterpiece but it’s the right kind of light-hearted movie that would cheer you up when you’re feeling down.

A Dog’s Way Home is in cinemas now.

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