“A Dog’s Purpose”: What’s your purpose?

A Dog's Purpose Board Photo credit: Hernan Bueno

By Hernan Bueno ’18

“A Dog’s Purpose” is a movie based on a dog by the name of Bailey. Throughout the movie, he reincarnates as different dogs and tries to figure out what the purpose of his life is. The movie is an emotional film for everyone. Overall, this movie is very interesting due to the dog’s narration. This movie has an excellent plot, heartwarming characters, and beautiful scenery.

Although the plot was sometimes predictable, the narration and lighthearted tone kept it interesting. As Bailey reincarnated into different bodies, he still remained the same innocent dog he was when the film  first started. However, with each life, he gains experience that helps him solve the philosophical dilemma of his purpose in life. The movie seamlessly weaves together lighthearted topics with serious problems such as a father’s alcoholism leading to abuse, the loss of a loved one, high school bullying, and animal cruelty as Bailey is left in the sun and abandoned outside.

The most prominent character in the movie is Bailey since the movie follows him throughout his life. His character is well developed and definitely a character that viewers can easily be attached to. He can be described as caring, selfless, brave, innocent, and adventurous as most dogs are. These qualities complement those of his owner Ethan. The development of this character is easy to follow as he goes from being an imaginative, carefree kid to a teenager struggling to figure out what his future will look like. Every character that Bailey interacts with has a unique story to tell that touches the audience and easily evokes emotion.

The scenery completely changes throughout Bailey’s lives,  but perfectly complements the tones portrayed in the movie. When Bailey is happy and carefree, the scenery is full of beautiful wilderness and colors or in this case, smells that Bailey often comments on compared to the dark scenery when he is sad. The constant shift in scenery also adds contrast to the different lives Bailey has, from being a police dog to being a pet for a little boy to love.

However, Footage was released about the dog being forced into a bad situation, and people considered that abuse. People believe that the movie is supporting animal abuse because of what the dog had to go through. Therefore, the movie contradicts what the critics have to say because the movie is about loving your dog and helping out a dog if it needs help.

  • PG
  • Fantasy/ Family Film
  • Length: 1 hour and 40 minutes