We Bought A Zoo

Posted in Cinema, DVD, English, Reviews by Suganth on June 29, 2012

Based on a real-life story, Cameron Crowe turns We Bought A Zoo into a classic ‘inspirational film’ that glosses over the struggle of its lead character but still manages to be heartfelt

After his wife’s death, Benjamin Mee (Damon) is finding it difficult to handle his two kids, the cutesy seven-year-old Rosie (Jones) and moody 14-year-old Dylan (Ford). With memories of his dead wife haunting him, he quits his job as a columnist at a newspaper and decides to move to a new place. On a house-hunting trip, he zeroes in on a place “nine miles from the nearest shop”. But there is a catch — the house comes along with a dilapidated zoo. On a whim, Benjamin decides to buy the place and restore it to its former glory with the help of the zoo’s remaining employees (Johansson and co). The plot might seem straight out of a movie, but it is actually based on a true-life incident. But Crowe has taken liberties with the real Benjamin Mee’s story to adapt it for screen, and so, we get a classic ‘inspirational film’ that glosses over the struggle of the lead character. Most of the rough edges like Benjamin’s love-hate relationship with his son, financial insecurity and his struggle to re-open the zoo are presented to us in soft focus… in a fairy tale manner to be specific. Crowe has always been good at conjuring pop philosophical lines (think ‘You complete me’ from Jerry Maguire) that are calculated to tug at your heartstrings and that is the case here as well (Sometimes, all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage… just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery). The lone special feature on the DVD is a 23-minute featurette on how the cast and crew went about shooting with the animals, with some fascinating insights into animal behaviour by their trainers that is sure to appeal to animal lovers.

Copyright ©2012 Chennai Times

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