It is rare for a movie about animals to not manipulate its audiences. Audiences end up into feeling strongly either one way or another. And these feelings arise when it comes to the context that the movie puts its animals in. Especially when the animals become family to the characters and the audience that is watching them. Such movies like Marley and Me is a prime example of exploiting the audience. Making them ugly cry at the entirety of what is happening. It’s never easy saying goodbye. Gilles De Maistre’s The Wolf and the Lion thankfully does not manipulate its audience but tells an unbelievably true story. It will evoke all the emotions. And it will warm your heart about the unlikely friendship between a wolf and a lion and their journey. The movie captures every note as close to present day.
The movie mostly focuses on Alma (Molly Kunz) as she takes over her grandfathers property after he passes. She ends up being the caregiver for Mozart and Dreamer. They’re the wolf and the lion. Throughout the movie, she tries to get them to a sanctuary to live the rest of their lives out. Along for the adventure is Joe (Graham Greene). He is very adamantly against the idea of Alma keeping the wolf and lion cub. But after discovering the truth that was hidden from him, he decides to side with Alma.
A set of scientists consisting of Eli (Charlie Carrick) and Charles (Derek Johns) want to take the lion cub to breed it and then release it back into the wild. And a carnival owner Allan (Evan Buliung) wants his lion cub back to be his main attraction. Throughout all of this chaos, Mozart and Dreamer are put into dangerous situations and truly gives the audience the worrisome feeling. And those feelings are is genuine and authentic.
What makes The Wolf and the Lion work is the nature documentary esque story that it tells. There is something truly beautiful in seeing these two animals interact together. Together, they have the surprising blossoming friendship between this unlikely duo of brothers. As well the performances from the cast, specifically Molly Kunz and Evan Buliung evoke such strong emotion from the audience. They brings a further fascination and intrigue into the movie.
These two actors being the hero and villain and evoking such strong emotional reactions from the audience. But there are some issues with the conclusions to their individual stories. They don’t fall entirely in line with their characters. However, the relationship the audience has with Mozart and Dreamer is the strongest and most poignant dynamic in the movie. And that is what the audience is paying attention to the most. The Wolf and the Lion delivers on the emotional bond humanity has with animals. And it packs the emotional punch needed to bring this movie to its full potential.
- Rated: PG
- Genre: Family
- Release Date: 3/11/2022
- Directed by: Gilles de Maistre
- Starring: Charlie Carrick, Daniel Brochu, Derek Johns, Evan Buliung, Graham Greene, Molly Kunz, Rebecca Croll, Rhys Slack
- Produced by: Catherine Camborde, Claude Léger, Gilles de Maistre, Jacques Perrin, Nicolas Elghozi, Sylvain Proulx, Valentine Perrin
- Written by: Gilles de Maistre, Prune de Maistre
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