Though deliberately paced and at times over-twee, “A Bite of Love” is a surprisingly impactful canine-and-child weepie from Thailand whose final reel packs a genuine wallop. Movie released to moderate biz earlier this year, but should excel in other Asian territories. Elsewhere, it’s well suited to kidfests and sidebars, where it may catch adult audiences off guard.
When her mother is divorced, doe-eyed tyke Kao Niew (Nawarat Techaratanaprasert) is shunted to the home of family friends. Meanwhile, a mutt dumped by the Bangkok roadside is forced to fend for itself. Two story threads intertwine as the unloved girl takes custody of one of the dog’s pups, which she names Mooping (grilled pork, after the food it eats). Kao Niew subsequently loses the dog, and the pic gears up for a seemingly inevitable reunion, but the script by director Siwaporn Pongsuwan has an astute realism that adds unexpected bite. Helming is sans frills but professional, and performances from Techaratanaprasert and the helmer’s own pets are endearing. Tech credits are low-budget but respectable.