Author Topic: HACHI: A DOG'S TALE (2009)  (Read 143 times)

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Offline agate

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« on: December 13, 2013, 11:33:41 am »

I wasn’t expecting much from this movie.  I was expecting a heart-warming Disney-style film about a dog.

In a way it’s a heart-warming film about a dog but it’s also far more. For one thing, it’s based on a true story. For another thing, while it is sad, it’s not sad in a maudlin, saccharine way.

Though I don’t particularly like Richard Gere, and had just seen another movie in which he starred, he’s not so hard to take in this story. He doesn’t smirk much at all, and that helps. And it is the dog, an Akita named Hachi, who is the real star of this  movie.

At one point I heard a familiar voice and took a closer look at one of the more important characters. Sure enough–it was Jason Alexander, the George Costanza of Seinfeld, doing an excellent job in his role as a railway station clerk.

Hachi doesn’t do cutesy things. He’s just being a dog. He even ages noticeably as the story goes on.  The story revolves around one simple fact–stated by the Japanese friend of the professor who adopts Hachi: that an Akita won’t fetch, or if an Akita ever fetches, it’s for a reason.

The original Hachi lived in Japan in the 1930s, and there is a statue of him there. What the dog did that was remarkable isn’t beyond belief at all, but it is very sad and very remarkable.

The somewhat insistent and somber piano music in the background throughout the movie was somewhat annoying. It seemed to be saying, “Watch out! The ending of this is going to be sad!” No soundtrack might have been preferable.
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SPMS, diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2007-2010.