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MatchFlick Member Reviews
 Hachi: A Dog's Tale
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Movie Details

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Directed By
Lasse Hallstr÷m

Written By:
Kaneto Shind˘, Stephen P. Lindsey

Cast:
Richard Gere, Sarah Roemer, Joan Allen, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Jason Alexander, Erick Avari, Robert Capron, Davenia McFadden, Kevin DeCoste, Robbie Sublett, Bates Wilder, Gloria Crist, Donald Warnock, Oscar J. Castillo, Adam Masnyk, Martin Montana, Morgan O'Brien, Russell Gibson, Vincent J. Earnshaw, Ben Skinner, Joanne Fanara, Michael Kelly


 
Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2009)
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Movie Review by Zara
March 12th, 2010

This is really as near to a perfect and true to the definition of a family film as you're going to get. It's a sad story about it being a straight to DVD release, hopefully it will catch on with word of mouth, as this is up in the highest ranks of the most touching dog and master movies that have been made. No big surprise coming from director Lasse Hallstrom, a man who specializes in making movies which cause the heartstrings to pull over the simplest moments of life. He is a master at this type of filmmaking and this story in anyone else's hands would have come out far too sappy to be dealt with.

An Akita puppy left at a train station for a professor of music to find, Hachi is the replacement for Gere's soon-to-be leaving the nest daughter and much to his wife's dismay, after the dog chews up furniture and does normal dog stuff, the puppy eventually ends up becoming the family dog, doing everything with his master except for fetching a ball. It is an offered opinion in the movie that the breed of dog is a loyal one, but has no need for fetching because it serves no purpose. By the time the dog actually wants to fetch, you sense bad things.

The movie is based on a real life story of a dog of a similar name, all the way back from a professor who taught in a Japanese college in 1923. When the woman died a couple years later, despite having a new home to go to, Hachi returned every day to way for his master to get off at the train stop. The dog was relentless in waiting, going 9 years before finally succumbing to its own death. There is a statue honoring Hachi in front of that Japanese train station now.

And this is basically the story that the movie tells. It is simple and it is straight forward. You know that something bad is going to happen but you watch any way. Because there is a mystical notion to a dog being as loyal of a pet as it is. Dogs and their powers to make humans think that they can actually talk, they just haven't developed the voice boxes yet for it - SQUIRREL! - which bring even the strongest and the best of us to tears when we witness the purity of their love and devotion. Is it because there is never another instance, animal or human, in which this would occur? Perhaps.

But it sure makes for great filmmaking.

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