AD - Film Review - The Stray Released By Universal Pictures UK - A Heart-Warming Tale Of Life, Love & Everything In Between.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

*Film link kindly gifted by 4Digital, AD because it contains a product which was gifted to me for the purposes of this review.*

Recently I have been watching more films to help me unwind after work, as well as many a series on Netflix but perhaps that's another post! Today I want to talk to you about a film I watched called The Stray released by Universal Pictures UK on February 11th. It tells the story of Pluto The Wonder Dog who comes to the aid of the Davis family at a time when they need him the most. It's a heart warming tale of a struggling family falling apart at the seams who are desperately in need of a change in circumstances but for whatever reason, aren't doing so. 

Young Christian Davis finds a stray dog named Pluto and decides to bring it home to his family. Christian's father Mitch works long hours and his mother Michelle just wants a husband who is there for his family. In just a short time with the Davis clan, Pluto manages to recuse a lost toddler, bring comfort to Christian and help save Mitch and Michelle's struggling marriage. 

I've seen these types of films before where a dog comes along at just the right time for a family, something bad happens but the dog is there to save the day, equally saving the family and uniting them when they were worlds apart, ending happily ever after with the family becoming one again with all their troubles behind them. Usually these kinds of films just leave me a bubbling mess by the end because, dogs. Think Homeward Bound, A Dog Named Christmas, A Dog's Way Home and Hitachi. 

This film is only 90 minutes long so can be enjoyed when you don't have the time to sit down for two and half hours. I watched it whilst I was in the bath, sitting in my towel afterwards and then getting dressed. It was just what I needed as I didn't need to concentrate too much on it, the storyline wasn't that gripping, I knew what was going to happen and I could get on with other things whilst it was on. 

That's not to say I didn't enjoy it because I did but I just felt like it lacked something, I'm not quite sure what exactly that is but it promised so much but definitely (in my opinion) under delivered. There was no real danger save for the lightning storm which ultimately killed Pluto and I guess that's where it falls down. Having watched so many films in this genre, I feel I've been spoilt with better films, grittier storylines and more imminent danger. That being said, it's an easy watch and would definitely suit the younger members of the family as it's so pure and doesn't require a great deal of brain power to watch.

I absolutely adored Pluto though, being a collie his herding and protective instincts are high, you can tell he instantly wants to unite this family all the while protecting them, warning them about imminent danger. It's this which makes me believe even more so that dogs are much more than 'just a pet' and actually are there to help us even if we don't quite realise it. 

The family although almost torn apart are determined to stay together and even though Michelle said he didn't want a dog, you can bet your bottom dollar that's exactly what happens despite herself. Pluto first implants himself firmly in the Davis family by helping to save the youngest son Christian from the school bullies then promptly waits for him when he gets off the bus. After that he becomes another member of the family and seems to sense when he is needed. 

If you watch The Stray for nothing else than to marvel at just how awesome dogs are then you'll really enjoy it. Don't expect to be gripped by it because there's no high drama, apart from the camping trip which brings the film to an end. It builds up, peaks and then dies which left me feeling somewhat deflated afterwards and there were no tears which just proves to me that it's definitely a straight to dvd film and would suit families trying to keep their children quiet for a hour or so! 

I've seen better films if I'm honest but I'm glad I've seen it because I got to learn that it is indeed a true story and we even got to see some home movie footage of the first day Pluto arrived at the Davis's home. He was even more beautiful in real life. 

I'll give this film 3/5 purely because of Pluto. I can't say miss it completely if you're into these kind of dog-centered films but just don't hold out any hopes for it! Just enjoy it to see Pluto! 

Available now on Amazon priced at £12.99. 

Love, Sarah

*Film link gifted by 4Digital, as are the pictures. All opinions my own.

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