A ginger cat and recovering heroin addict make for an unlikely duo in this heart-warming, true life adaptation of the 2012 biography.
Based on the international best-selling book of the same name, A Street Cat Named Bob tells the story of homeless, heroin addicted busker James Bowen and his twist of fate after becoming friends with a stray ginger cat, Bob.
A story that looks in depth at the relationship between man and animal is always a tough task to take on. Having to deal with a variety of factors, getting something on screen that both shows off the chemistry between two creatures and tell a meaningful story is no mean feat. Thankfully, after a successful turn back in the late 80’s with Turner and Hooch, director Roger Spottiswoode has taken on the challenge with the feel good results it was after.
Shot similar to semi-musical films such as ‘Once’ and ‘In search of a Midnight Kiss’, the independent nature, while different to traditional big screen productions, lends itself nicely to both the story and tone. Although taken a little too far at times (POV cat angles for instance), this method does work well, giving a raw edge to each shot and a depth that blockbuster methods of production would overwhelm.
Given some of the themes touched upon in the main narrative, the central plot is a simple human interest story rather than a megaphone for social issues. While this may seem impossible given some of the issues the film focuses on (drugs, homelessness etc), it works given the scripts focus on character rather than situation. Put simply, it’s designed to make people feel good rather than win any awards.
Funnily enough, the strongest element of the film comes from the chemistry between lead actor Luke Treadaway and Bob the cat. Treadaway performs well as the drug addled lead while Bob plays the role purrrrrfectly (see what I did there…). With an on-par supporting cast, the line-up is pretty much what you would expect from a smaller production as this.
Overall, A Street Cat Named Bob successfully brings the feel-good factor that we all need now the nights are rolling in earlier. Although this may not ramp up the excitement pre-awards season, it’s almost impossible to not leave the cinema with a smile on your face. 3.5 out of 5 stars.