On Friday, January 13, Netflix presented another novelty for the weekend called “Lost Dog”. This is a dramatic story about a lost Labrador retriever named Gonker, based on real events. In the review below, we tell you whether viewers should stock up on tissues before watching.
“Lost dog” / Dog Gone
Genre biographical, drama, family
Directed by Steven Gerek
Starring Rob Lowe, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Johnny Berchtold, Nick Payne
Release year 2023
Fielding Marshall is an unsuccessful graduate with no ambitions for his future. He is going through an unfortunate period in his personal life, so he decides to heal his emotional wounds with the help of friendship with a pet. The guy goes to the nearest animal shelter and gets a cute light labrador.
While Fielding’s peers are gradually starting to build careers in various cool companies (the names of such giants as Boeing and Anheuser-Busch are heard), Fielding is doing yoga with his dog and drinking beer. However, this free, carefree idleness comes to a head when the young man is forced to move in with his parents, John and Ginny.
One fine day, Fielding walks with his fellow student and Gonker in the forest, but later the dog does not respond to the call. As a result, the whole family decides to give up their business and search for the lost dog. The situation is complicated by the fact that the Marshalls need to find a pet within 20 days, because he is sick and needs a dose of special medicine.
In addition to the fact that a similar story actually happened in real life in 1998, it is also an adaptation of Pauls Tutongi’s 2016 book Dog Gone: A Lost Pet’s Extraordinary Journey and the Family Who Brought Him Home. The original source focused attention not only on the search for the dog, but also on the relations in the family of the main characters.
The film tries to follow the same path, but superficially, without delving into drama. The actors somehow depict some differences in views, which means that you can tick the box on the topic of parents-children. There is also a separate storyline for the heroine Kimberly Williams-Paisley, which is shown in flashbacks. But it is shown dotted and does not add significant depth to the story.
The lack of dramatic nerve could be compensated by exciting adventures. That father and son trip along the Appalachian Trail is more like a leisurely stroll through the park than a rather grueling trek through a wooded area. Suspiciously youthful Rob Lowe, star of the procedural drama 9-1-1: Lone Star, always looks as fresh here as in a commercial for some deodorant.
In general, friendship between pets, in particular dogs, and their owners, as well as various trials on their way, is a very fertile cinematic theme. Such tapes are constrained by certain frameworks, but their main purpose is to evoke sincere emotions, empathy, feelings of kindness and warmth in the viewer. And, of course, to inspire.
The novelties of the director of “101 Dalmatians” Steven Gerek have problems with this point as well. After all, the script does not offer the characters extremely difficult tests that they must overcome in order to be reunited with their retriever. The action takes place in a light, relaxed atmosphere, and Rob Lowe even manages to make a few jokes.
That is why, at the moment of the greatest joy, there is no powerful emotional surge, which, in theory, plots of this type should cause. But at the same time, to call “The Lost Dog” a catastrophically unsuccessful tongue won’t come back.
This is just a mediocre film, devoid of expressive sentimentality and charm. Especially compared to the best examples of films about relationships between people and their four-legged friends. Well, the answer to the above question: you don’t need a handkerchief. It is better to take popcorn with you and turn on something more interesting.
Pros: a light story, beautiful landscapes, a cute dog Cons: weak drama, lack of exciting adventures, restrained emotionality, overall low ambition of the project Conclusion:
“The Lost Dog” cannot be called a worthless film. It aims to appeal to viewers who cannot imagine their lives without a barking pet. The tape can become an excuse for the whole family to gather around the screen, which is good in itself.
However, Steven Gerek’s work has no chance of getting into the list of the most favorite films about pets. And after the final credits, it is unlikely that she will ever be remembered