Review: A Street Cat Named Bob

Come for the cat, stay for the slice of life

Image: Sony Pictures Releasing

Image: Sony Pictures Releasing

★★★★☆
Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Starring: Luke Treadaway, Joanne Froggatt
Length: 1hr 43m
Rating: PG

A painful insight into the lives of London’s homeless, A Street Cat Named Bob is an honest account of real life. But, much like the story the film itself tells, viewers have mostly come to watch the cat. While it could be grittier in parts, the film doesn’t glamourise the hardships of reality but shows relationships blossoming, and the bleak being lifted to create a heartwarming film that’s not just for cat lovers.

Often quirkily filmed from the cat’s perspective, A Street Cat Named Bob is based on the internationally best selling book that follows the uplifting tale of a once homeless drug addict whose life is turned around thanks to the support of a few positive people in his life, and a cat.

Bob, who plays himself as the stray ginger cat, is the centre of the heartwarming and true story by Roger Spottiswoode, alongside ‘sidekick’ Luke Treadaway, who acts the very convincing part of a James Bowen, the protagonist who is ‘on the program’ and trying to get his life together.

Scraping together money through busking in Convent Gardens, the soundtrack, though not the original songs James busked, tells the stirring tale with heartfelt and catchy tunes while the man and cat duo earn their keep together before becoming a human interest story with their tale told all over the local papers.

A Street Cat Named Bob follows James through his emotional journey; brushing over death as a common occurrence, the torture of going cold turkey, helpless guilt, and the blissful naivety of falling in love, both with a cat and the a-bit-too-convenient, vegan, hippy, volunteer-vet who lives next door. Yet Bob is always there to lift the film from its darker moments and is the continual source of lighthearted humour with quintessentially British scenes of running through the streets of London, chased by a bulldog.

The positivity, hope, and companionship of man and cat, despite the struggles they both faced, brings the success of the very likeable film by combining brutal honesty and cat based feel-good comedy.

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