STORY: While the film essentially revolves around a dog reincarnation and he trying to realise his purpose in subsequent births, the story has a larger message. Good people don’t have to finish last and those who love you will always ensure that you aren’t lonely.
REVIEW: Sequel to W. Bruce Cameron’s 2010 novel A Dog’s Purpose, this film too follows a dog named Bailey and his journey through several lives via reincarnation and how he chases his purpose through each of his lives.
It all begins with Bailey aka the big boss as his loving owner Ethan (Dennis Quaid) calls him, and he observing his family fall apart. When Bailey is finally put to sleep, Ethan hopes that he’d return to look after CJ, his granddaughter, just the way he has looked after him. After Bailey is reborn as Max, Molly and more, he keeps looking for CJ and ways to make her happy as Ethan had asked him to.
A dog’s journey has some heartwarming moments exuding unconditional love and loyalty as expected. Dog lovers in particular will need to carry tissues as this one’s a total tearjerker for them. However, the film ceases to go beyond the sentimental cliches. As seen through the eyes of a dog, as he narrates the story, beyond a point, it all gets repetitive and thus exhausting.
As the dog keeps reliving his purpose, you lose a sense of wonder and are prepared for what to expect. Be it a love confession, terminal illness, suspected death, reunion or happy every after — you sniff it from a mile.
The performances though are truly endearing. In times of social media cynicism, Dennis Quaid, Henry Lau and Kathryn Prescott show you what it feels like to love and be loved in return.
Given the nature of the film, if you are fine with mushy love stories that play on a loop, you won’t mind embarking on this journey. However, unlike Marley & Me, this one’s a bit predictable and thus falls short of tugging at your heart strings.