A Street Cat Named Bob

Vampire Owl: This one looks like the Vampire Cat in disguise.

Vampire Bat: How can you talk like that about such a cute ginger cat?

Vampire Owl: Even the Vampire Cat is cute.

Vampire Bat: No, he is not. That makes no sense.

Vampire Owl: You just have to look at the right angles.

Vampire Bat: Dude, the long fangs say that it is not “cute” territory.

Vampire Owl: But how can that one be a cat and not cute?

Vampire Bat: That is a good question. But a cat is normally not cute with all his nine lives left even after death.

Vampire Owl: I am just glad that he is not a Zombie Cat.

Vampire Bat: Well, not part of your zombie minion squad, that is for sure!

[Gets three cups of masala tea with special masala dosa].

What is the movie about? :: James Bowen (Luke Treadaway) is a recovering drug addict who has nothing going in his way. With his father Nigel Bowen (Anthony Head) married again with a woman with two kids, it is his support worker, Val (Joanne Froggatt), who tries so hard, and helps him to get his own flat to live in. He has been trying to earn some money by singing on the streets, but it is not of much use. One day, a ginger cat enters his apartment to find some food. It is a friendly cat, and James tries to find its owner, but it seems that there is none. One day, it gets injured while fighting with some other stray animals. After taking it to the vetenary doctor, and with the advice of his neighbour, he names it Bob. It stays with him in the flat, and so he decides to let it be there.

So, what happens next? :: Everything begins to change as people notice him with the cat which stays on his shoulders as he walks through the streets and sings – at the same time, James also develops a relationship with his neighbor Betty (Ruta Gedmintas). These things make him more responsible, and he manages to become a better person. He finds himself responsible for the life of Bob as well as himself, and manages to stay away from drugs for enough time to get clean. Everyone in the streets admire the team of two, and even James’ father appreciate his efforts to get better. With the question remaining about helped whom more than the other, the James and Bob seems to have managed well enough to be a lot helpful to each other. But their times don’t end here, as it continues to make a bigger impact on them as well as the people around them.

The defence of A Street Cat Named Bob :: The movie has its heart and soul at the right place which makes this one a movie not just for the cat lovers – that specific category is certain to love this movie more for sure though. There is no difficulty in falling in love with a movie as feel-good and cute as this one, with its dark sides nicely controlled and gotten rid of. There is a lot of focus on its message, on what it means to be loved, and what it is about having someone to love – how it changes a person completely. There is also the message against doing drugs, as we see the protagonist go through the different phases of his life. Dealing with a subject like this, and still managing to be realistic as well as inspirational, takes some effort, and thanks to a fantastic performance from Luke Treadaway, and the work from Bob the Cat himself, there is not much that goes apart in this one – the emotional side works really well.

The claws of flaw :: There is a certain slowness that can be felt, and this is certainly no special tale as all things go simple with this one. There was also the potential to make something bigger out of this tale, with the real life tale made into book, and the cat and the owner being pretty much famous. The potential for usual pet stories is nothing less either. You know what cats are capable of – I had one myself named Simona, and she was never lacking in skills. She could always provide the needed entertainment – there were no shortage of admirers for her in the neighbourhood. The movie could have easily added some moments which could look really good on the screen. There are always more interesting incidents that could have happened around here. We could have also had more interesting characters added to support the whole thing.

Soul exploration :: You see the tagline of this movie, “Sometimes it takes nine lives to save one” – it is one perfect thing to have. As the movie is based on real-life incidents, this happens to be a proven thing – I have often believed that my own cat called Simona has affected my life in a positive way too. With her daily activities, she had inspired me to write more and also see some happiness with her activities of fun. I have been depressed on a lot of occasions, and her presence was good enough to lift me up every time. Therefore, I can connect with this movie better than most of the people out there. It was just last year that she died, falling victim to a motor accident while crossing the road, and that came as quite a shock to us. During the times of sadness these days, I continue to miss her, and it was during one of those days that this movie came to me.

How it finishes :: The world needs more movies with cats. And more people also need to watch this movie at a time when the idea of an ideal pet has been more about having a dog. We can also be sure about having more movies in this series, with more books being present among the original collection of works by the same author with the same cat at the centre. The others include The World According to Bob, and more for children including Bob: No Ordinary Cat, Where In The World Is Bob?, My Name Is Bob, For the Love of Bob, Bob to the Rescue and a short story titled A Gift from Bob. A Street Cat Named Bob as the book was nominated for the UK’s National Book Awards and it was listed at No. 7 on a list of the most inspiring teenage books as part of a poll for World Book Day. Let’s see what the movie brings as more people gets to watch it.

Release date: 4th November 2016
Running time: 103 minutes
Directed by: Roger Spottiswoode
Starring: Luke Treadaway, Bob the Cat, Ruta Gedmintas, Joanne Froggatt, Anthony Head, Caroline Goodall, Darren Evans, Tony Jayawardena, Adam Riches, Beth Goddard, Ivana Basic, Jessica Woodland, John Henshaw, Akbar Kurtha, Lorraine Ashbourne, Llewella Gideon

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.