Film Review: “A Dog`s Way Home” (2019) ★★★

We human beings, nowadays, are not very good at showing love and appreciation while the distance between loved ones keep getting greater and greater. These may happen due to stress, work that takes lots of time or some other problems. But with dogs it’s not like that. No matter what we do, their loyalty to us is stunning proof that a dog’s way to love is much deeper and profound than we can really imagine. This is why it’s a total joy watching something like “A Dog’s Way Home” and be part of this emotionally charged journey where our hearts, no matter how big it is, will grow bigger along with Bella’s (Bryce Dallas Howard – voice) quest to find the home she once knew.

Set in Denver, Colorado, where pit bulls are banned, Lucas, an aspiring medical student, takes a little puppy home after rescuing it from a soon-to-be demolished house. The bonds the two create is beautiful and truly heartwarming. However, due to the law that prohibits pit bulls, Bella is in danger of being impounded. But when Lucas finds an alternative way to save his beloved dog from being sent to a shelter, Bella disappears without a trace. More than four hundred miles away, Bella embarks herself on an adventure to find her way home. Her journey won’t be easy. It will be filled with so many potentially harmful consequences, avalanche, or being eaten by hungry wolves. All these would be nothing since in Bella’s mind nothing is more important than returning back to her loving and caring owner.

The opening scene could not get any cuter, when we find the little puppy, who’ll be later called Bella, is living under a house that should have been demolished. The reason the house still stands is because of Lucas (Edward James Olmos) and his mother, Terry’s (Ashley Judd) efforts fighting against the local builders to remind that no construction should take place until all the animals are put into a safe place. But when a puppy was separated from her family by the animal control service, it was a mother cat that starts looking after the little dog. But when Lucas arrives, Lucas takes the doggie home to look after it.

From that moment one, Bella enjoys her life; she likes chewing Lucas’ shoes, playing catch a ball, eating cheese, or executing the command – go home. That ‘go home’ will be stuck in Bella’s mind even long after she’s been separated from Lucas. She knew that no matter where she is, Lucas is the only person with whom she must be reunited. Along her journey, she will make friends, find people that were willing to look after her. However, Bella decides to leave all the opportunities behind and keep going until she makes it home. And when she does, and make no mistake about that, it will the most adorable scene you will ever see. Just make sure you have enough Kleenex with you to wipe out the tears that will come down from your eyes.

Based on W. Bruce Cameron’s novel, and the script co-written by the author and Cathryn Michon with direction by Charles Martin Smith, “A Dog’s Way Home” is an excellent family adventure drama that will send everyone into deep awe. From start to end, the film strictly concentrates on the dog and its relationship with Lucas and how the same relationship makes the dog to fight for its way home. Films like these must be made more often to show the exquisite and pure friendship animals have with people and why we should never take it for granted. And when it comes to the pit bull breed, the film specifically highlights the part why there should be no discrimination against any type of dogs and must not be feared due to the size of their teeth, face, or the sound of their bark. In the right hands, any animal can be trained, especially dogs that have always been intelligent and sensitive. And that is the most important message of the film which it never falls short to explain so explicitly.

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