A Street Cat Named Bob is a film adaptation of a book of the same name by a busker named James Bowen. This is based on a true story that inspired James to write the book. It does not feature A-list actors but one unique thing about this film is that it features the real cat Bob himself. With the book now being one of the best-sellers, will this film able to transition the great book onto the big screen? We are here to find out!
The basic premise is a recovering addict James Bowen, who is homeless and is busking unsuccessfully for living in London. One day, he receives a support from his support worker and gets himself a flat. There, he meets Bob, a cat who breaks into his house by coincidence and hunger. With his new furry companion, James’ life begins a transformation that he would never expect would change his life.
Man, this film really has that feel-good atmosphere that makes this such an enjoyable drama film. The film tries to keep everything as realistic as possible, to reflect the tough life of a busker and also an addict. It paces itself accordingly, from a slow beginning which we focus on James, to the point where Bob showed up to change James’ life. It makes a gradual transition from bluish cold tone to a warmer one as James and Bob’s relationship gets closer. The whole film’s narrative is actually a simple and predictable one, but the performance of the main actor and his relationship with Bob make this film becoming something special that is different from any Hollywood-style film that features an animal as part of the leads.
I love how there is as little dramatisation as possible in order to keep this story believable, as it is based on a true story and any excess exaggeration might screw up the film. Also, the British-ness of the characters actually helps to create likable and more realistic relationships with one another. I come in to watch this film expecting to watch a B-movie comedy, but instead, it touches me when the credit rolls. This is perhaps one of the most unexpected films to make me think that an animal could change someone’s life for the better, and it’s even a true story as well. This movie is a hidden gem that is deserved to be watched by more people. Some of the music that James sang in the film is also appropriate and fits the atmosphere, while at the same time sounds like what any busker of his type would sing on roadside.