Greyfriars Bobby

Greyfriars Bobby


Reviewed by: Kotleta

A horse blinks. A bull snorts. Some eggs topple off a stall and smash onto the shiny cobbles. The close up slowmo opening sequence, laden with overtones of impending doom, is as misleading as the assertion that what follows is the story of a dog that changed Edinburgh forever.

Once upon a time in the land of haggis and ghosties, there lived a little white terrier called Bobby. Bobby was a police dog and he belonged to Constable John Gray and his wife (TRUE FACT!), who were poor but noble and had a little ginger friend called Ewan (debatable).

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Bobby was loyal, devoted and brave in the face of danger. He could save his master from marauding bulls and knife-wielding robbers but sadly he couldn't cure tuberculosis so Constable Gray died. Bobby was inconsolable. But he battled on and, over the next 14 years, when he wasn't sitting forlornly on his master's grave, Bobby allegedly changed the history of the city by watching a mill burn down, killing rats, rescuing Ewan from a life of oakum picking and barking at appropriate moments. And how the people cheered.

Sentimental in all the wrong ways, the basic lonely-dog-grieves-for-dead-master tearjerker is abandoned in favour of a tedious and misjudged coming-of-age story. Nobody cares about Ewan. Nobody likes Ewan. Let him die in the poorhouse. At least in there he can't haunt the poor dog's every step, bleating, "Boabee, Boabee, ye'll no find him theer." This story has too little to do with the dog and too much to do with Ewan's literacy struggle, the state of the drains in Edinburgh's Old Town and the general horribleness of being poor and living in a hovel.

The controversy over film Bobby being the wrong breed and film Edinburgh being cartographically inaccurate is rendered insignificant by the greater crimes committed against logic and Scotland. Although nobody actually utters, "Och aye the noo", on several occasions they come close. Jings!

Although best watched when insensible with drink, The Adventures Of Grey Boab is as shamefully hypnotic as a car crash. Laughter is inevitable and plentiful. Regarding the performances, least said, soonest mended.

Reviewed on: 10 Feb 2006
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Story of the little dog with the big heart.
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Read more Greyfriars Bobby reviews:

Max Blinkhorn ****
JessPeeps (aged four) ****

Director: John Henderson

Writer: John Henderson, Richard Matthews, Neville Watchurst

Starring: Oliver Golding, James Cosmo, Greg Wise, Gina McKee, Ardal O'Hanlon, Kirsty Mitchell, Christopher Lee, Sean Pertwee

Year: 2005

Runtime: 104 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: UK


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