Friday, September 21, 2012

We Bought a Zoo - Movie Review

Starring Matt Damon 'We Bought a Zoo' is a 2011 film (based on a real story) about a family that buys a zoo and runs it commercially. Benjamin (Matt Damon) is a writer who has recently lost his wife. He has two children, one teenager son who is a rebel and prone to drawing macabre drawings after his mother's death and a six-seven year old girl Rosie. After his son is expelled from school for his continuous spate of macabre drawings and also finding that his own writing is going no where, the sympathy-averse Benjamin quits his job, sells his house, and starts looking for a new place with natural surroundings.

He finds a property that appears perfect - the only thing is that it comes with a zoo that has about 47 species including a lion, tigers, snakes, a bear and so on. He has to maintain the zoo and the employees of the zoo. Benjamin almost gives up until he sees his daughter getting along with the peacocks - and then he buys the property. So the family moves in to the zoo, meets the zoo employees, headed by the pretty zoo keeper Scarlett Johansson. Escaping animals, rebelling employees, financial troubles, personal troubles, crooked inspectors are all thrown into the plot - and resolved. The zoo opens to a fine reception, family issues sorted out, son's drawings get better, he finds a girl friend, Dad finds a girl friend (zoo keeper), animals are happy, customers are happy and all's well that ends well.

I liked the concept of '20 seconds of courage is all you need...' to approach any situation. If you want to propose, make a cold call, ask fro something, handle something new or uncomfortable, cannot handle the tension - just hang in there for 20 seconds and hold yourself and that is what Benjamin says helped me face the grizzly or make a proposal to his wife. 20 seconds of courage then.

Sweet and cute, easy on the eye and the ear (good background music with lots of nice songs), gentle on the heart and certainly different 'We bought a zoo' presented its biggest surprise when I read the ending titles which said that the story is based on a real story and that the original zoo, the Dartmoor Zoo, was real. Now that was something. But as a movie it is nice and feel good and certainly one to watch on a nice Saturday evening with the family.

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