February 01, 2019 – Vinz Lamorena
alike.com.ph—When it comes to movies about man’s best friend, it’s always about some sort of heroic odyssey carried out by the furriest of characters. It often entails a quest about saving another animal in need, and “A Dog’s Way Home” isn’t entirely different.
Bella, an adopted Pit Bull stray, takes on a particular journey guided by love and loyalty. In this movie directed by Charles Martin Smith (“Dolphin Tales,” “Never Cry Wolf,” “Air Bud”), the connection between the puppy and Lucas (played by Jonah Hauer-King) was instantaneous. Although Pit Bulls are considered as a dangerous hound dog breed in the state of Colorado, Bella showed the opposite behavior—she has a kind of spirit that brings joy and comfort to anyone she meets.
“The thing about animals as opposed to human actors is that animals will always be honest,” Smith says. “You’ll never get a false moment out of an animal; there’s an innocence and purity about them as characters in film that I find endlessly interesting. Too often when people make films about animals, there’s an imposition of what we think they should be onto them. I’m more interested in capturing who they really are,” he added.
The most fascinating thing about this young dog is her affinity with the emotions of the people around her. Bella is pulled by her desire to provide solace and sympathy to the Army veterans that dominate the circle she interacts with.
From its title, “A Dog’s Way Home,” you can already get major clues on what the movie is going to be all about. But what’s more interesting is its underlying choice of advocacies. It took time to show the difficulties and trauma of those who served in the Army go through, and how little the support they are given once they’re off the force.
The movie also shifts its focus to the conservation of Colorado’s nature and wildlife—and Smith was able to wield such magnificent and magnetic sceneries into his frames.
The story’s loyal dog takes on a 400-mile journey to find her beloved human, Lucas, whom she got separated with because of Colorado’s ban on Pit Bulls. In her long sojourn home, she meets all kinds of characters that offered her company and safety—but she always looks to her family of choice: Lucas.
Bella is a beautiful, sincere, and brilliant dog who takes the viewers in an adventure filled with unexpected turns, where she teaches people’s needs to connect and belong, to feel safe, and have purpose. “A Dog’s Way Home” guises itself as a family movie, but it’s more than that—it’s a heartwarming film that urges you become more aware of the people around you, and to allow yourself to feel their pain.
Photos courtesy of Columbia Pictures
“A Dog’s Way Home” will show in Philippine theaters starting Feb. 6.
REAL PEOPLE, REAL STORIES. WE COVER PERSONALITIES WHO ARE WORTHY OF MAKING THE HEADLINES. PROFILES, LIFESTYLE, CULTURE, ARTS, LITERATURE, ENTERTAINMENT—TELLING STORIES THAT MAKE US FEEL AND CELEBRATE LIFE. WE ARE ALIKE. FOR STORY PITCHES, PERSONAL ESSAY, LITERARY, AND ART SUBMISSIONS: EDITORIAL@ALIKE.COM.PH