Review Tamil

Oh My Dog review: Heartwarming, likeable drama about human-animal bonding

Release Date: 21 Apr 2022 / Rated: U / 02hr 01min


Cinestaan Rating

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Haricharan Pudipeddi

With simplistic storytelling and relatable situations, especially for those who have a pet, Oh My Dog beautifully explores the bond between a boy and his best friend, a Belgian husky.

First-time director Sarov Shanmugam’s Oh My Dog (2022), which introduces actor Arun Vijay’s son Arnav in a memorable role. will hold a special place in the list of Tamil movies involving dogs. As a genre, dog-based movies are rare in Tamil, and to have one backed by Suriya as the producer is special.

With its simplistic storytelling and relatable situations, especially for those who have a pet, Oh My Dog makes for a heartwarming and likeable drama that beautifully explores the bond between a boy and his best friend, a Belgian husky.

Arnav plays Arjun, who lives with his parents and grandfather in Ooty. But before we get to know more about Arjun and his escapades, we are introduced to Fernando (Vinay), a narcissistic businessman who breeds and trains dogs for competitions and has won the Dog Championship six times in a row. Everything is business for Fernando, who even scolds one of his dogs for not bearing more puppies.

When he finds out that one of the newborn puppies (a husky) in his kennel is near-blind, he orders his two sidekick buffoons to kill it. The plan goes haywire and the puppy manages to escape and is eventually saved by Arjun, who decides to keep it, much against his parents' wishes. He names the puppy Simba, and they form a strong bond. The rest of the story is about the adventures of Arjun and Simba and how they join forces to bring down Fernando.

The simple plot of the bond between a dog and its master is beautifully explored in Oh My Dog, which dumbs down a lot of things to suit Tamil audiences and their sensibilities. With a kid at the centre of the plot, filmmaker Sarov gets a lot of leeway to go overboard with respect to the storytelling. but it never sticks out like a sore thumb. The film draws inspiration from movies like 101 Dalmatians (1996), especially when it comes to the character of Fernando; but it still has elements that are original and rooted to make it more accessible.

It would have been nicer if the film had chosen to have a mongrel or even a local breed of dog instead of a husky to encourage more people to adopt and raise Indian breeds and strays. With more people willing to pay good money for puppies of exotic breeds, it would have been encouraging to see a mainstream film talk about adoption of strays.

Arnav Vijay makes an assured debut and his scenes with Simba are some of the best moments of the movie. There is a lot of innocence in the scenes featuring Simba and the kids, which works in favour of the film. Oh My Dog is not just a movie for kids but appeals to adults as well with its message about not giving up.

Oh My Dog is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

 

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