There’s a new word I know – Busking – it’s those singers on the streets who sing or play musical instruments for money. In India this would be called begging. Busking on the streets of London will require licence. But there are many folks there who do it without official permission. This fact should be known before you watch the movie, “A Street Cat Named Bob” because you will be surprised why was the man arrested for just standing on corner of a street and stringing the guitar and singing.
If you love cats, or at least love watching their antics, you will like what you see on “A Street Cat Named Bob.” And the cat, Bob, has performed well. Also, there’s a mouse, obviously.
Story is about a recovering addict in rehab who makes a chance encounter with a street cat. Cat seems to adopt the man and together they perform on the streets, the man doing the singing and the cat does what cats do best. Anyway, the cat becomes the attraction to many and envy to some and this partnership gets good money till luck last. Luck comes, then goes and then comes again. That’s the story in the nutshell.
What is notable is the filming with the cat. Also with the mouse, to some extent. Working with animals (and toddlers), I believe, must be a separate school of movie making. I mean, how will one communicate to a cat what expressions are required? Probably techniques, like creating a situation to get a desired effect. And waiting, patience.
After the cat makes an entry, many of the human interactions, like romance, love, hate, is either shown “through the eyes of the cat” or “mirrored on the cat.” The camera and the story gives the cat top billing. And “he” has not disappointed.
And the actors are good too. The shots filmed of the human characters are kept short in duration. One gets an impression that the director may have said, “whatever you do, do in 5 seconds.” Many of the scenes have a “clipped” feeling, an attempt, I believe, to limit the scope of melodrama. Which is good. Because there is a great scope for melodrama: recovering addict, penury, father-problem, girlfriend problem, so-called friend problem etc., all dealt with in succinct 1 hour and 40 minutes.