March 16 - March 19 , 2023

Review | Being A Dog

fdiff March 23, 2023 4 min read

“I don’t care now. I realised back then, the reason I wanted to look like a human was because I just wanted to have friends. Now, I just want to be a monster who is helpful to Luffy!” – Chopper – One Piece, Eichiro Oda


Shapeshifters have been a prevalent element for a long time! From various mythological tales of the ancient world to the stories of the modern world, shapeshifters have crowded the literary world. 

While most of the shapeshifters were connected to the evils, some of them were products of love. Love is one of the most beautiful feelings in the world, and the urge to be a better person for the one we love, often leads us to transform ourselves into a finer and more refined version of ourselves.

Swedish director Felix Swahn’s latest venture is a recurring saga of love longing and the quest to transform oneself for the sake of the other.

The film revolves around Tim, a lonely human. Tim yearns for love.

He’s a lonely person who battles exclusion every day. Tim morphs himself into a French bulldog whenever he feels different from others.Ginger helps Tim become more humane. Ginger is Tim’s old friend with whom he once shared an unrequited love. One day he comes across Ginger on the street and eventually starts to bond again. Tim goes back to being a dog after meeting Ginger. This time he prefers to appreciate becoming a dog and observes all the opportunities of a dog’s life. He realises that  i t’s great to be a human, but it’s also great to be a dog at times.

Sometimes, love’s magic works only when it is reciprocated. Among the various kinds of love, mostly reciprocated, there is one kind that often goes unnoticed. It is the unrequited love- where a person pines for the other and there is no answer to look up to. And, while unrequited love might very well share similarities to something like an extreme crush, it is usually much greater because there are deep feelings on one end, at least. In the film, we see our protagonist Tim going through all the heartaches and his desire to transform is evident in his actions. Felix brings out the pangs and troubles of contemporary society through his frames. The world we see is dark, hopeless and dilapidated. He presents a society which reminds one of the postmodern angst of men and surely enough, postmodern society is a loveless society that is terrified of beauty because love disturbs it.

Felix’s craftsmanship perfectly balances the dilemma and the sense of loss throughout the film.When Tim says that people can be afraid of the fear itself, it instantly broadens the perspective and the reach of the film since relatability also becomes a crucial matter when it comes to storytelling. Felix has successfully cemented the bond between his characters and his audience.

While watching this beautifully crafted and designed film, one might go back to the classic directors like Tim Burton or legendary comic book writer Frank Miller. From time to time, the references of Japanese anime are quite evident in Felix’s movie.The incorporation of animals’ faces on a human body is a recurring graphic novel trait, and it was no wonder that watching Felix’s movie felt like reading a graphic novel!

 But what makes “Being A Dog” stand out is its unique storytelling and brilliant execution. Felix is an expert in Advanced 2D animation in CG Spectrum, and each and every frame of his movie shows his capability. He creates a gothic, noir world within his frame and still holds onto the basic principle of the story. 

Tim, at the end of the day, is an ordinary man with his feelings of longing and yearning. He is no hero, and his victory lies in that acceptance. Despite failing and falling apart, his life shows a strange fulfilment on its own, and perhaps, this is where, Felix Swahn excels at his craft.

Even though the movie is only 8 minutes long, it delivers a compact storyline and a perfect presentation.

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