More than a fe­line...

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - ENTERTAINMENT -

This tale of a re­cov­er­ing drug ad­dict and his ex­tra­or­di­nary cat re­fuses to play on mawk­ish emo­tion and DAVID ED­WARDS thinks A Street Cat Named Bob, which also stars Bea­cons­field ac­tress Joanne Frog­gat, is all the bet­ter for it WHILE re­cent mog­gie movies such as Top Cat Be­gins, Keanu and Nine Lives proved to be as much fun as hav­ing your face shoved into a loaded lit­ter tray, this true story turns out to be the cat’s py­ja­mas.

De­spite the cutest head­line act since Bambi, the story is care­ful to steer clear of mawk­ish­ness with lots of ur­ban re­al­ism in be­tween kitty re­ac­tion shots.

And if cat pop­u­lar­ity on YouTube is any­thing to go by, this should prove to be box of­fice cat­nip.

In­spired by James Bowen’s in­ter­na­tional best­seller of the same name, the movie stars Luke Tread­away (Clash Of The Ti­tans, Un­bro­ken) as well-mean­ing but weak-willed rough-sleeper James.

Still re­cov­er­ing from a heroin habit, his life seems to be on the up af­ter be­ing given a small flat, be­friend­ing a shapely neigh­bour (Ruta Ged­mintas) and adopt­ing a stray gin­ger tom (ac­tu­ally played by Bob him­self ).

With the an­i­mal perched on his shoul­der or on his gui­tar, James goes from strug­gling busker to a favourite en­ter­tainer on the streets of Covent Gar­den.

But even with his new pal giv­ing him a rea­son to get up, James learns that liv­ing a clean life has prob­lems of its own.

There’s the junky pal who threat­ens to drag him back to his old ways, the es­tranged father (Anthony Head) who seems to shun a re­union and, worst of all, the city’s dogs for­ever threat­en­ing to turn Bob into lunch.

Nat­u­rally, we’re all here to soak up real-life Bob on the big screen and not for one minute does the end­lessly purring pussy dis­ap­point. With a deep gin­ger coat and emer­ald eyes, he’s as cute as you could hope for.

The hu­man cast may be on form but are re­ally all re­duced to sup­port­ing roles.

Not that the mak­ers al­low the sen­ti­men­tal­ity to be­come cloy­ing – one shud­ders to think how Hol­ly­wood would have ap­proached the story – with the streets of Lon­don look­ing uni­formly un­wel­com­ing and the is­sues sur­round­ing ad­dic­tion pre­sented un­flinch­ingly.

It all adds up to a re­demp­tive and sur­pris­ingly hon­est film.

Star: Joanne Frog­gat and left, Luke Tread­away as James and Bob as him­self

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