Sunday, April 29, 2018

A Street Cat Named Bob (the film on DVD)

A Street Cat Named Bob
[DVD Street] 

This 2016 movie (released on DVD in 2017), is adapted from the first two autobiographical books by James Bowen, A Street Cat Named Bob and How He Saved My Life (2013) and The World According to Bob: The Further Adventures of One Man and His Streetwise Cat (2014). I loved both of those volumes, especially the first, which was a painfully honest account of Bowen’s struggles to recover from drug addiction and survive on the street of London, first as a street busker (musician) and later as a seller of The Big Issue. Bowen’s life was forever changed when a ginger tomcat adopted him and gave his life focus and a greater purpose.

For this film, the “plot” of the book is streamlined, and a lot of extraneous material, including Bowen’s time in Australia with his mother, cut out, in order to focus primarily on his interactions with Bob the cat, once Bob shows up in his life. Luke Treadaway gives a terrific performance as Bowen, and the actual Street Cat Bob performs as himself (with several other stand-in cats) in this film. There are some other good performances, including Ruda Gedmintas as Betty, the friend who helps James get his life together and develops a romantic attachment, Joanne Froggatt as Val, James’ social worker, and Anthony Stewart Head (Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer!!) as Bowen’s father.
This isn’t a deep film, but it has lots of nice “moments”, and for anyone who, like me, loved the books, this is a charming little nugget. There’s also some very nice original music that Treadaway as Bowen performs during his busking scenes. I definitely recommend this one for anyone looking for a “feel good” film with an engaging cat!

[If you enjoy this, you should absolutely read Bowen’s book. I found the first book to be far more interesting than the subsequent ones, but they’re all good reads: A Street Cat Named Bob and How He Saved My Life, The World According to Bob: The Further Adventures of One Man and His Streetwise Cat or A Gift From Bob.]

[ Internet Movie Database entry for A Street Cat Named Bob ] | [ official Street Cat Bob web site ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you watched this one? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

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