Director: Wes Anderson
Availability: Vue Cinema Leeds
We mixed something up with time and ended up watching this film, because it sounded OK and I couldn’t be asked waiting to watch the film I originally wanted to watch.
This is an animated film, which I do not mind from time to time. I did not know the story is centred in Japan and that there will be a language issue, because this was not the film I wanted to watch. Therefore, this is a problem number one for me because I only like watching films I can understand.
However, this is not the only problem with the film. The problem is that much of the Japanese is not even subtitled and thus viewer has no idea what is going on. There is a voice narrating the story but not all the time, and when it does so then it is usually just telling us the story of the film and how it is going to progress. In fact, even dogs do not understand Japanese as they say once in the film!?
In a nutshell, there is an outbreak of a canine flue in Japan and an evil major decides to deport all dogs to a trash island. His nephew decides to go and look for his dog and then refuses to return back home. The story is then centred on dogs from the trash island helping the boy find his dog while fighting the army that wants to take the boy away. The whole flue is a political conspiracy because the Government needed dogs for experimenting with robot dogs who would be used for combat, and thus they created a flue to get dogs for testing. A scientist who found a cure gets murdered and his Science Party looses in engineered elections in which it never stood a chance. The conspiracy is discovered by an American exchange student who stands up for dogs and confronts the major.
The story is not so bad because it tackles an important question of human treatment of animals and Government conspiracies that are not always in the interest of people. However, it is simply not well made because of the fact some things are not translated and the story is slow. I started to loose interest somewhere in the middle of the film, and that was also the time when several people left the cinema. If this was on TV, I would have discontinued watching. The film also ends abruptly and I really did not like the American character in the film. On a positive side, the dogs are animated well and the voices are convincing. The story of a stray dog is touching and I liked the way it was portrayed.
Thank you for reading.