Contributed By Irin Tjahjana
A Lassie/Hachiko story set in the Australian outback; Red Dog is based on true events chronicled in the short novel of the same name by Louis de Bernières. It tugs at the heartstrings with the life of a popular dog, a “Red Cloud Kelpie” nicknamed Red Dog, in Karratha, Western Australia, and how it was able to impact a whole community through its unwavering loyalty to its master.
Once a stranger to the mining town of Dampier, Red Dog befriends many of the employees of Hamersley Iron, which has a major iron ore excavation in progress. He then finds a master in truck driver John (Josh Lucas), and they embark on a journey of life full of happiness. Sadly, John goes out one day and does not return. The devout canine sets off on a mission, roaming the Australian outback in search of his long lost master. Over the 1970s and ‘80s, he hitches rides here and there, ultimately bringing together the mining community of West Australia’s Pilbara region.
With its light-hearted take on life peppered with good-natured humor and sentimentality, Red Dog has already passed the USD$20 million mark at the box office, making it the most successful Australian film domestically since Baz Luhrmann’s Australia in 2008.