Let me say at the outset that this is a wee gem of a film. Put all the nit picking you may have heard about locations and breeds aside - they fade in the bright shiny faced light of John Henderson's lovely family film. It is a film trivia buff's dream in that there are incongruities in the story but this is not a film for obsessives and grown ups - it' s for kids and their parents. O.K.? And dog lovers. It delivers an hour and a half of perfectly paced entertainment and I really enjoyed it. My four year old daughter did too. A lot.
The key to the film is that the dog is the star - humans play big parts but the dog is the centre of the story. There are several excellent human performances, notably James Cosmo as the gravedigger, Ardal O'Hanlon, who has the best lines and the two "baddies". Steady work from Gina McKee and Greg Wise keeps the story plausible. Beautiful cinematography, a good music score, outstanding costumes and location dressing top up the whole and the result is a film which could become a modern classic.
Greyfriars Bobby isn't a clever dick film either - it's simple and understood by kids under 12. However, it holds everyone's attention and deals with some difficult issues really well.
What is the story? You don't know? O.K. Clever wee dog works with his master, a policemen, and is a general boon to his owner. Sadly, owner dies, but dog sits on his Master's grave "guarding" it. Villains try to get rid of said dog, but dog is gutsy and tenacious. Dog wins friends, becomes well known and has many adventures.
It's nice to see a film that's not full of egos and cgi inserts too - the cast are chosen, I guess, for their ability to play the role well enough and not steal the dog's thunder. John Henderson's comment to the audience was to the effect "If you don't like it, stuff you" but John, we do like it. It's nice and doesn't try to be anything else. Take as many kids to this film as you can - they'll love and you'll enjoy seeing that.
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