Directed by: Sophie Dia Pegrum
Written by: Sophie Dia Pegrum
Starring: Jon Jacobs, J.C. Brandy, Gabriel Jewel, Alix Koromzay, Theresa Trainer
Dogstar (Jacobs) is a socially awkward young man, who lives in a house with his mother (Trainer) and brother Astro (Jewel). Dogstar never leaves the house and is obsessed with space, the walls of his room being filled with drawings made by himself that are mostly space-related. He has plenty of paintbrushes, a large telescope so he can observe the stars and a goldfish that he sometimes talks to. One day he meets Gabrielle (Brandy) and the two of them end up spending a great deal of time together, getting to know each other.
This emotional drama is a love story and explores themes of social isolation, love, family and personal struggles.
Jacobs delivers a very realistic performance as a shy but intelligent individual, who has a passion for astronomy and sees the world differently than other people. Although he comes across as antisocial and childish, he can also be funny and caring. Brandy is emotional as the girl who falls for him, but unfortunately has serious issues she is struggling to deal with. Jewel has a good supporting role as Dogstar's brother, who means well but is often rude and arrogant and keeps asking for money.
The film includes flashbacks of Dogstar when he was a child, with his father talking to him about the wonders of space. These sequences have magical music and the lighting and cinematography makes the image appear dark blue.
Throughout the movie, the audience will often hear Dogstar's inner thoughts, which work as voice-over and are his memories. There are also plenty of montage sequences that show characters performing actions and they include effective use of dissolve and jump cut techniques. Additionally there are quite a few shots of stars in the sky at night and admirable establishing shots.
The music adds value to the film. It is dramatic and sentimental. There is also a decent selection of enjoyable songs.
Unfortunately it should be pointed out that there is one scene where the audio does not sound good. This scene occurs when characters are outdoors, sitting at a table eating. When they speak, their voices sound 'damaged'. It is a short scene but adds negative qualities to the picture.
Dogstar offers a look into the life of an unusual individual. The plot focuses mainly on the relationship that develops between Dogstar and Gabrielle. The narrative is moving and the characters are engaging. It is an experience worth pursuing.