A Review on ‘We Bought a ZOO’: A feel – good film that reaffirms anything is possible – A Guest Blog Post from C L Haden

This week’s Writing Wednesday is a guest blog post by C L Haden at Creative Learning Haven, she is a great blogging friend of mine and would appreciate it if you checked out her blog!

I don’t often, (if ever) do film reviews, because I don’t watch a lot of TV never mind movies. Although, I was very pleased to stumble upon We bought a ZOO. I was initially attracted to it because the main character was an adventure Writer, and his new adventure was to buy a ZOO. What girl doesn’t love animals or adventures ? I was even more pleased to see the work of a ‘positive Writer’ as it’s not that common in 21st century media – this was a refreshing change.

The initial storyline involves Writer Ben ( Matt Damon) and his two children of 14 and 7 that live together in the City, coping with the loss of their Mother. It’s only when the troubled teenage Son gets expelled from school, that Ben decides they all need a new adventure to help them focus. He eventually decides to take on the responsibility of house in the countryside that has a ZOO attached to it. The ZOO is worn down, needs lots of money invested in it, and needs a team who can pull together to face the obvious challenges.

I loved the way in which the Writer developed this angle – he shows that bad things do happen in life, but it’s how you handle them that determines the success of the outcome. The Writer was careful not to focus the audience’s attention on the loss of the Mother too much. Instead he wanted the viewer to see it from the perspective of Ben. That being, he had children who counted on him, and whilst he couldn’t change the past, he could in fact change the present which lead to their great future.

Furthermore it was heartwarming to see how the little girl reacts when she finds out that there is a ZOO included with the house. My favourite part was when she’s feeding peacocks, and at this point her Father has decided not to take on the house – because of the risk involved. As she laughs at the peacocks who are scavenging off her for food, she says something like ‘We’re going to be living here’. It’s that moment, when Ben sees how happy his little girl is for the first time in a while, that he decides to go ahead with the sale. This is my favourite part because it reminds me how Children are fantastic at manifesting what they want. Purely because their imagination rules them and that they are not bound by restrictions or limitations, like we Adults are.

The story goes on to show how caring for animals who are in need, strengthens the rocky bond between Father and Son. It also shows how Ben uses the memory of his wife as motivation, and a guide to get him, his family and team through testing times.

This film is sensational because it reaffirms that if we want something that much, then dedication, focus, passion and determination are the perfect ingredients for a successful recipe- no matter the circumstances.

This film, truly has a feel good factor!

C. L . Haden

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