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Her daughter Florence gives Mrs. Deville bull-terrier Baxter as a surprise present. Although she's afraid of him, she doesn't want to give him away because she feels lonely. But Baxter has his own ideas - he longs to be dominated, to be challenged - and so he isn't content with his boring life with the old lady. To get rid of her, he causes an accident. It works, and he's given to the neighbors, a young couple. He's happy... for a while. When they get a baby, he again takes action. Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
Films where animals are given a persona and a human voice have long been a staple of children's entertainment, but I can't think of a single film made for adults where this is the case. With the exception of oddball French flick 'Baxter', of course! Any film with a premise as weird as this one is bound to become a must see for yours truly, but this is an idea which, when fused with black comedy, certainly has the potential to be great, and Jérôme Boivin's film comes close to fulfilling that promise. The film has a couple of points to make, and tries to fuse them with the perspective of a dog. The film follows Baxter - a bull terrier given to an old lady by her daughter. Baxter isn't fond of his owner, but she keeps him because she's lonely. However, it's not long before Baxter decides he's had enough and the old woman meets an untimely end. Baxter then moves on to the young couple across the street, where's he's happy for a while again, right up until their baby is born and he gets his nose pushed out. Baxter is searching for a human like him; and unfortunately, he soon finds one.
The film shows that no matter how evil a mind an animal has, there's always a human with a worse one. Baxter succeeds in showing life from the point of view of a supposedly obedient animal, and the most powerful things in this respect are the things that show the dog at it's most instinctive - things like mating with another dog and bending to his masters' will. The dog in this film may be a comical impression of the real life 'mans best friend', but somehow it doesn't feel so unbelievable that you can't buy into the film. The main reason why this film is so eerie owes to the voice artist behind the dog. Maxime Leroux's voice gives Baxter a distinctive air of evil and authority, which suits the dog well. The things that the dog says are always interesting and often insightful, which helps the film to create an absurd atmosphere as dogs aren't usually associated with intellectual intelligence. The conclusion to the film is undoubtedly shocking and completely surprising, and works really well. Overall, Baxter is too weird a film to ignore and for that reason if nothing else, it gets my full recommendation.
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