Movie Review: The Art Of Racing In The Rain

Let us be honest, the trailer for ‘The Art Of Racing In The Rain’ had us thinking this movie would turn out just like any other dog movies that typically tells an emotional drama about a beloved pooch dying, told from a dog’s point of view.

Not going to lie, the film offers exactly that. But as they say ‘never judge a book by its cover’, in the same vein, one should never judge a film by its trailer.

This film which is based on the best-selling novel of the same title by Garth Stein, is a touching tearjerker, so you might want to bring tissues along.

Director Simon Curtis cleverly helms the movies by using metaphors that connects with us humans. Its main character Denny played by Milo Ventigmilia is a race car driver. The analogy between racing on track and steering through the track of life is fairly similar – it comes with a few curves. This was beautifully played out on screen.

In the trailer, it said ‘Meet the dog who will show the world how to be human’ and in this film, we will come to realise that we can all learn something from others on how to be human, even if it’s from animals, like Enzo the golden retriever, the star of the show.

The movie introduces Enzo lying in a puddle of his own urine, waiting for Denny to return home. The inner monologue is done by the legendary Kevin Costner who perfectly portrays Enzo’s personality – earnest, loyal and an old soul.

Parts of the film provide comic relief in a heartwarming way thanks to the beautiful script. As the movie advances, Enzo shares about a Mongolian documentary he watched about dogs who will be reincarnated as humans in their next life.

This is where the full-circle story sets its course as Enzo takes us through his life journey from a puppy. We get to see the lessons he learned with his humans, mainly Denny, before other characters like Denny’s wife Eve (Amanda Seyfried) and their daughter Zoe gets introduced.

“He’s more person than dog,” says Denny in the trailer as he introduces Enzo to Eve. He views Denny as the best human in the whole wide world but soon learns to share Denny with Eve and Zoe.

Enzo follows Denny to the track whenever he can, watching his master work his magic around the raceway. He was Denny’s best friend, the loyal golden retriever but the more we get to know him, the more we know he wishes he had the ability to interact in a more meaningful way with humans, especially when the family is presented with life’s challenges that no one saw coming.

Ventimiglia as the sensitive guy is solid, likewise for Seyfried who plays the ever-supportive wife, endlessly cheering on her husband’s dream, not allowing him to quit no matter what happens.

Sometimes we need that slap of reality to remind ourselves that our lives won’t forever be perpetually sunny – and this movie does that. There’s nothing extremely extraordinary in terms of cinematography, but the uplifting script blew our minds away. Above all, it’s a great story for the whole family.

The Art Of Racing In The Rain is now showing in cinemas.