A Dog's Purpose *SPOILERS*

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LunarPride's picture
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I don't know if anyone's seen/heard of the movie, A Dog's Purpose, but I just watched it and I need to explode (my mum and sister watched it before me).

First, I'll never look at a dog in the same way again. My eyes were Niagra Falls when I was watching that movie.


When Bailey, you know, made me weep, I used up a packet of tissues. It broke my heart when Ethan left for collage and Bailey followed him through the field with the rugby ball. I cried especially when the narrator (dog) said all he wanted to do was rest, and then *sob* Bailey got put down. 


In Bailey's second life, he was a German Shepherd named Ellie (yes, he became a girl). That kidnapped 12 year-old girl caused him/her to jump in fast-running water to save her. As I love German Shepherd's more than most breeds of dogs, I used up another packet of tissues when Ellie was shot. And when he/she said 'I hated shots but this one was the worst', my heart was split again into four. No, I wouldn't have cried if the owner was shot. I love dogs more than humans, arrest me.


Tino the male Corgi coming through! I loved how Tino read Maya's mind and how they ate things people normally wouldn't feed their dogs, like pizza and ice cream. When he said 'Roxy left for the vet that day, but she never came back', I sniffed a lot, my not quite at tears. Then those kids came and poor Tino/Bailey was chased and tortured. At least he liked the attention. I think this death was perhaps the saddest, or second saddest, because he was just lying down, and poor Maya was asking 'What are you thinking?' whilst crying. Tino just closed his eyes and that was it. So sad... (RIP third packet of tissues).


Finally, so something happy. And the end, anyway. A puppy, named Waffles by his bad owner, was chained outside for his puppyhood. The the owner didn't like him because he became a large dog, and he was dumped off and became a stray. And, OH MY GOD HE FOUND ETHAN. He was name Buddy for a while and he brought Hannah back to Ethan (Hannah and Ethan got married). Finally, he brought the rugby ball out again and did the trick that Ethan recognised. He got his old collar and rightfully became Bailey again. I cried again but at the end it was happy tears.


So, what do you think about A Dog's Purpose, if you've seen it? What do you think was the saddest death, and the best reincarnation? What was your favourite part of this emotional ride?




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WhispertheWolf's picture
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One of My Favorite Books; Haven't Seen Movie

My first thought its, I'm sorry you saw the movie before you read the book because you'll never be able to read the book with the same sucker punch, and I have a hard time believing the movie included everything (though I admit to not having seen it. I'm kind of scared to. It's one of my favorite books. I first read it about...6 years ago?...and was recommending it to everyone I knew afterward. Don't read it on a plane, btw; you don't want to explain to a flight attendant why you're sobbing. You should have seen my face when I heard they were making a movie last a year: it was a mixture of "took you long enough" and "don't you dare mess this up!")


It looks like the parts about Bailey, Ellie, and Buddy were pretty faithful to the book. This Toni thing is new and almost seems like a reference to the book's sequel (A Dog's Journey). Originally the four lives Bailey had were Toby, Bailey, Ellie, and Buddy. Toby came first, and he was a feral-born dog that got picked up a hoarder, and the whole point of him as to draw a contrast to Bailey to show a dog needs a purpose and the reason he thought he was done and ready to move on for good after being Bailey, so I feel the story has to lose some of it's necessary metaphor if it took Toby out of the picture. That's disappointing.


The saddest death to me was one you didn't mention - a human death toward the end - so I'm not going to say anything on it in case the movie copped out on that ending. The saddest dog death in the book, I thought, is the one they didn't include in the movie, Toby's, because it was so pointless. I don't know if there's a "best reincarnation," but I think the happiest one, from the book and based on your description of the movie, was when he was Bailey, though part of what made that powerful is comparing it to his first tragic life as Toby, so I don't know what would be the preferable reincarnation in the movie.


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LunarPride's picture
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Oh, there was a Toby at the beginning, they just didn't mention his name. The one captured by dog catchers, right?

WhispertheWolf's picture
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Not Quite...

That could be what the movie converted Toby into, but they definitely went in a direction, then. In the book, he wasn't picked up off the street dogcatchers but by a woman who picked up stray dogs and hoarded them. (She's the one who names him Toby.) She was a well-meaning woman but completely wrong in what she was doing, and that life comes to an end when her house gets raided by Animal Control and Toby is declared unadoptable. It was supposed to be commentary on animal hoarders and people who think they're helping strays when they're just making a worse situation.

snowflake12298's picture
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Hi! :)

Human death? The only deaths I remember watching was the dog's and then that time Bailey dug up the dead cat and brought it into the house to play. :)






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WhispertheWolf's picture
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You mean the movie really did

You mean the movie really did cope out on it? Aw, man!


And...no human death? None at all? ...Ellie was supposed to be a police dog who faced life-threatening action and rescued people from horrific moments, how the heck was there no human death...?


Eh, I guess it's not that surprising; A Dog's Purpose is an adult novel for a reason. Finding out they made the movie PG was the moment I started to be hesitant about it. Still a little disappointing, but I think it's possible to still make the point of the story without having the same bittersweet ending, and the tragic moments were hardly the only moments in Ellie's career.

snowflake12298's picture
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Hi! :)

Yeah Ellie saved the girl, bad guy got arrested, and then she was shot and killed. 

I wasn't a big fan of the movie's ending it didn't really pull at my heartstrings it was more like "Oh its Bailey again...actually Buddy playing with catch with his old owner. The end". Everything else was touching and somewhat sad at some parts. 

WhispertheWolf's picture
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Hollywood's Definition of Making Adult Things PG

Oh, you'll like the book's ending, then. The waterworks! D'X


Wait, Ellie has a violent death?


"Hey, screenwriter, we need to make this adult novel into a PG movie."


"But why not just make it PG-13? It doesn't look like it needs to be R."


"Come on, you know we can't have a story with a dog narrator that's not for the kids! We'll never make our money back! So can you cut out all the human deaths? We need to keep things sappy, nothing too jarring."


"Okay, but how are we going to keep the story emotional and shocking and keep the social commentary?"


"Make some of the dog's deaths violent! Cop takes the bullet in the book and is forced into retirement? Make the dog take the bullet and di.e!"


"But isn't the whole point to parallel the loneliness Ellie and her cop friend both feel...?"


"And make the dog hideeven more than before!"


"I really don't think killing dogs is the answer here..."


"We'll add another life with the dog being killed by stupid kids!"


"You're not listening to me, are you?"


"Trust me, it will be so emotional, only it won't have parents complaining like the original would!"


"The original that was widely acclaimed for its themes?"


"Adult themes, screenwriter. We're making this kid-friendly."


"Yeah...killing dogs instead of people won't bother children at all..."


Just...oh, my goodness, what even! XD


Well, I supposed they did have to cut Ellie's life in half in order to include their new Toni dog in there for more doggy tragedy. Sorry, Ellie, no old age "finding other ways to save people" for you...we gots to keep the story moving! XD


This is all making me very curious, though. Sure, the ending might be a cop-out, but now I'm really curious to see if the movie managed to be as introspective as the book in a slightly different way... Just because it skipped out on some of the book's messages doesn't mean it didn't replace them something potent all it's own.

snowflake12298's picture
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Joined: 12/23/2013
Hi! :)

Lol you summed it up pretty well.


This is the ending scene if you're curious.


And this is as much bloody and violent this movie gets cause kids movie can't have too much blood or gore. So yeah Ellie dies and leaves the poor lonely police officer to mourn his dead dog....ONTO THE NEXT LIFE! With happy Toni eating ice cream and pizza most of his life it can't get any better than that.