Thursday, April 15, 2010


Directed by: Lasse Hallström
Run time: 104 min.

I'm not a dog or cat person, I don't even have pets at all but from my non-pet-owner perspective, this film is touching. It teaches us that dog can be more loyal than human.

Based on the 1987 Japanese film Hachikō Monogatari which is based on a real story in Japan, at first I thought this movie will be just one of generic Hallmark matinee movies. But it wasn't since there is Richard Gere in it, hey at least anything with an A-list movie star cannot be a standard Hallmark matinee movies right?

As a remake, I expect the film to be fully 'Americanized', but this film has the sensibility to ensure that Hachiko remains Japanese, only for it to be accidentally transported from a Japanese monastery, and thanks to a botch up in cargo handling, Hachiko ended up in Bedridge train station, USA.

Fate brings the cute and small Hachiko with Professor Parker Wilson (Richard Gere). At first his wife doesn't like a dog in their house. But as time goes by, there's a bond built slowly between Hachiko and Wilson, a bond that transcend worldly affairs and teaches us the meaning of dedication and loyalty.

This is the type of movie that, even if you already know the whole plot, you can still enjoy it. One cannot deny that Akita dogs are extremely cute and cuddly and one should pay attention to the credit title that to own Akita dogs, you need to be a professional dog owner, not just having it because you just simply want it.

I haven't seen the Japanese original movie, but I will see it and I think it is better than the American version (which is also good too) since it can maintain the original 'feeling'.

The real Hachiko was born in Japan in 1923. When his master, Dr Eisaburo Ueno, a professor at the Tokyo University, died in May, 1925, Hachi returned to the Shibuya train station the next day, and for the next nine years, to wait. Hachiko died in March, 1935. Today, a bronze statue of Hachiko sits in his waiting spot outside the Shibuya railroad station.

It is indeed an amazing story that inspires us all that despite all the indecencies we saw on night news, there is still something good in this life worth fighting for.

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