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Hachi - A Dog's Tale (DVD)

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Genre: Drama / Theatrical Release: 2008 / Director: Lasse Hallström / Actors: Richard Gere, Sarah Roemer, Joan Allen, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Jason Alexander ... / DVD released 2010-03-09 at Sony Pictures / Features of the DVD: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Colour, Dolby, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC

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    9 Reviews
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      09.05.2012 11:49
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      a great family movie!

      'Hachi' is adapted from the true Japanese tale of 'Hachiko', the dog who loved its owner so much he waited everyday at the station for his return from work.

      Changing the set from Japan to the US, Parker (Richard Gere) finds a puppy at the station lost in transit and decides to take him home, against his wife Cate's (Joan Allen) wishes. Clearly a dog lover, Parker bonds with Hachi so well that Cate decides to let him keep the puppy.

      Shot at times from the dog's perspective, we can see his thoughts, feelings and even times of jealousy- his attachment to Parker is undeniable. Once bigger, Hachi sends Parker to the train station in the morning and returns in the evening to pick him up every single day.

      The film is beautifully emotional and the subtle details it throws in adds a lot of depth to Hachi's personality. It is clear of his dedication, loyalty and love to Parker. I was extremely impressed with the acting of the dogs- it has been very well trained for it to do many of the things that it does in the movie!

      The climax and ending of the movie is -WARNING- very sad, but it definitely is an example and inspiration to the people it has affected and therefore very heartwarming. I also liked how they had a few photos at the end of the real Hachiko and some of the real life aftermaths of his impact.

      ~~~CAST~~~
      Richard Gere- Parker
      Joan Allen- Cate

      Despite only really having two star cast members, many of the side characters have their own personality which is shown through a very short amount of screen time to make them quite likeable as well. This is one of those rare movies that does not rely on cast to draw audience and is still a fantastic movie!

      ~~~OVERALL~~~
      'Hachi: A Dog's Tale' is a fantastic family movie that will get the tears flowing and everyone going 'awww' at the immensely cute dogs you see on screen. The music is also to be credited for adding such emotion to the film, especially towards the end.

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        06.03.2011 18:38
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        Happy/sad film about a dog's loyalty to his master

        FILM ONLY REVIEW

        I hadn't heard of this film before I saw it was an option on my entertainment screen on the flight to Australia and the South Sea Islands late last year. I was attracted to it as it had Richard Gere in it and despite the fact he is starting to look his age I have a soft spot for him since seeing him in 'An Officer and a Gentleman'. He is not a pretty boy but his eyes just twinkle when he smiles.


        The film is based on a true story in Japan but it was moved by Hollywood to the USA for some reason but that aside the story was still the same just it lost a bit of its authenticity for me as Hachi is not a name an American person would choose. The original story is Japanese and there was also a Japanese film made in 1987 called , 'Hachiko Monogatari' meaning 'The Tale of Hachicko'. This US version was released in 2009.

        The cast:

        Richard Gere as Parker Wilson, the professor
        Joan Allen as Cate Wilson, the professor's wife
        Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Ken Fujiyoshi
        Sarah Roemer as Andy Wilson, the professor's daughter
        Jason Alexander as Carl Boilins
        Erick Avari as Jasjeet, the Indian vendor
        Davenia McFadden as Mary Anne
        Kevin DeCoste as Ronnie
        Tora Hallstrom as Heather
        Robbie Sublett as Michael
        Robert Capron as Student
        Hachiko is played by three Akitas named Chico, Layla and Forrest ( important to their owner's I am sure)-- each playing a different period in Hachiko's life.


        Anyway the story starts when a young boy, Ronnie is in class giving a presentation in 'heroes' and starts to tell of 'Hachiko', his grandfather's dog. From that time we flash back to where his story starts and his grandfather first meets Hachiko

        An Akita puppy has been sent from Japan to the United States, but unfortunately his cage falls off the baggage cart at an American train station He is wandering around unlabelled and is found by college professor Parker Wilson (Richard Gere).The professor tries to get Carl, the station controller to take him but he refuses so Parker takes the puppy home overnight. His wife Cate (Joan Allen) is insistent about not keeping the puppy.

        In the following days Parker tries to find the owner but has no luck so the dog ends up at home with him again and again. Parker discovers from a Japanese colleague that the dog is not just an everyday mongrel but is in fact a very special hunting dog and he translates the symbol on the pup's collar as 'Hachi', Japanese for 'good fortune', and the number 8. Parker decides to call the dog 'Hachi'.

        Hachi soon becomes part of the family and settles in well forming a very strong bond with Parker, he goes so far as to walking to the station every morning and the returning at night to meet Parker when he gets off the train. Hachi becomes a well known by everyone that they meet on the walk to the station every day and he 'talks' to everyone on his way back to meet the professor every evening.

        After the development of the family relationship and we see how close the man and dog have become sadly something quite shocking happens to the family and from this point the story is Hachi's. It is a story of devotion and loyalty beyond the norm. It is touchingly sad but despite the tears pouring down my cheeks mid flight I still found it a film I would highly recommend.

        Despite the fact that this film is the story of a dog and his undying loyalty I would not take young children to see it because it is very emotional.

        This is not really a spoiler as the film is bigger than the factual elements of the story. In fact if you look around on the internet the entire story is there for you to read. I found the fact that this was a true story made it all the more moving and Richard Gere did an excellent job as the professor and dog owner. The other actors were totally believable and although I was not really familiar with any of the other actors they were convincing but allowed the dog to take centre stage as it really was his story.

        The story could have been made to be very soppy and over sentimental but the way it was told by the grandson and then also in parts through the eyes of Hachi ( these parts were filmed in Black and white) and at a dog's eye height which was a different view point and gave another take on the story.

        We got the feeling that this was a normal happy family with a very ordinary life and home but had this extra ordinary dog who came to be a part of their lives and had a huge impact on the family. The dog was actually 'acted' by three different dogs as I said before. In the original Japanese film the Hachi puppy is played by a Shiba Inu puppy, while the new Hachi in the end is an Akita Inu puppy. Interesting little facts for those in the know about these breeds of Japanese dogs but I couldn't find which sort of dog the original Hachi of the story was

        It is a modern film set in modern day USA and it was a simple story and so there were no real special effects in the film. The most difficult and challenging aspect of making the film must have been getting the dog's to 'act'. Whoever was responsible did an excellent job as the dogs' acting was superb and totally believable.

        Although this is no Hollywood blockbuster I really found it a moving story, probably because it was based on a true story. There have been other similar stories of doggie devotion such as Greyfriars Bobby a Disney film from the 1960s, in which a Skye Terrier stands over the grave of his owner who is buried in Greyfriers Cemetery. Apparently there is a statue in Edinburgh, Scotland, to honor Bobby's loyalty. I believe there is a statue of Hachiko at the railway station in Shibuya, Japan too and here is a link to the photo of this http://www.flickr.com/photos/29988379@N07/3053842874/.

        I think it was a shame that they felt the need to move the story to present day USA rather than leave it set in Showra Era Japan where the story actually took place as it added nothing to the story but probably made it cheaper and easier to film.

        This is a film only review as I saw it on the plane so I can't say if there are any bonus features etc on the DVD which can be bought for around the £7 in various places. In November 2010, the film was given a 57% "rotten" score at Rotten Tomatoes but has an 85% "fresh" rating from the Rotten Tomatoes community.

        I am a sucker for films with animals so I really thought this was a good true story and found it was well performed and sensitively portrayed without being overly mawkish and sentimental. Despite that I did find myself hunting for my tissues while watching it and told my very animal sensitive daughter not to watch it as she finds sad films with animals far to upsetting.

        I would recommend the film but not for the very young or very sentimental unless you want a good cry.

        Thanks for reading. This review may be posted on other sites under my same user name.

        ©Catsholiday

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          21.02.2011 17:28
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          A dogs bond can never be broken

          FILM ONLY REVIEW

          At a small train station in Bedridge Professor Parker Wilson is making his usual commute home when he stumbles on a small puppy which appears to be lost. He takes to dog to the office but he is told that if no one claims him he will be sent to the pound. Parker takes the puppy home with the intention of finding its owner. His wife is not happy about the puppy as they have recently lost their own dog.

          The following morning Parker sets about tracking the owner but has no luck so the dog ends up at home with him again. The next morning the puppy goes to work with Parker where he discovers from a colleague that the dog is not a normal one, it has been bread by monks to be a hunting dog and the markings on the tag say that the dog is called Hachi.

          Hachi soon becomes part of the family and settles in well forming a very strong bond with Parker, he goes so far as to walking to the station every morning and the returning at night to meet Parker when he gets off the train. Hachi becomes a strong member of the community and when disaster strikes the family he is not going to be moved.

          How far and how long will Hachi wait?

          I have looked forward to seeing this film for quite some time now but hubby has never really fancied it as he thought it would involve the dog dying and he would not be able to watch that, I ca say that Hachi does not die so don't let this put you off. Do not feel that I have spoilt the film by giving this away as there is so much more to the story and it is not spoilt in the slightest by this fact. I did find the story to be very good and quite moving at times and at the very end I found out that this was a true story ad for some reason it made the story more powerful and moving for me. The way the story was told was very good and I liked the fact it spread over many years as this kept it quite fresh and not at all dull or boring.

          The acting was great, Richard Gere took the lead role of Parker and I found his to do an excellent job. He seemed very natural and at ease working with the dog and the way he let his emotions and feeling come out made he seem more genuine and likable. He delivered all of his lines with ease and seemed to have an honest and true bond with the dog. There was some good parts with Parker and his wife and they too worked well on screen together and came across as a very happy couple. The real star of the film was Hachi, he was a wonderful dog and looked so cute, he managed to act excellently and come across in a very friendly and kind way. He did put some good facial expressions over when Parker would be talking to him and I think this helped me a lot to understand how the dog was feeling and just how much love he had to his owner. We had some very good support actors in the film and they all came across well and did help to bring some depth to the story.

          The story was told through the eyes of Parkers grandson and he opened the film before we went back to flashbacks, it was easy to follow as we did not keep going back to the present time and did only return there at the end of the film. We also got to see small parts through the eyes of Hachi, we could easily work out these parts though as they were lacking in colour and we were always looking at things from a lower level. I thought this was a nice inclusion in the film.

          There were no real special effects in the film and none were needed. The one aspect which I found to be excellent was the dog training, Hachi was amazing and looked so at ease on screen and he always had a good playful look to his eyes. The trainers really worked hard to make the role so good. The costumes and sets were also very good and realistic, no real effort was needed as the film was only set a few year previous so normal clothes were worn. The music was good and did help with the tone and emotions of the story but personally it is not a soundtrack I would go out a buy.

          This is a film only review so there are no bonus features to speak about. The DVD is available for around the £7 price tag which I think is very reasonable although this is being shown on Sky movies now.

          I am more than happy to give this film a high recommendation and the full 5 stars as I loved it. The story and acting are excellent but I would warn it may bring a tear to the eye more than once!

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            21.02.2011 14:32
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            very nice family movie

            Meet the new "full of tears story" starred by the handsome Richard Gere, Joan Allen and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa. Based on the true story from Akita, Japan, Hachi a Dog's Tale shows why people make dog as human best friend.

            The story begins when a dog from Japan was sent to America. In the airport when the cage was about to removed, the cage broke and let Hachi escaped. Luckily the hungry Hachi met Parker Wilson, who took him home and fed him. It needs some reasons for Parker Wilson to ensure his wife to let Hachi stayed in their house until Parker found the owner of the dog, because his wife didn't like dog so much.

            Time runs and Hachi should stay at the house since Parker couldn't find the owner of the dog. It means more time for Parker to play with the dog. Days gone and Parker's wife Cate knew that her husband has got a new friend when she saw Parker and Hachi were playing around at the back yard. Since that Hachi always escorted Parker to the train station work at the morning, and got back there at noon waiting for Parker home from work.

            The tragedy begins when Parker died in a heart attack. Thus Hachi still waited for him at noon at the station. Time to time he stayed there waited and kept waiting for Parker which would never come back. Cate who had move from her old house suddenly came back to the town of her old house, and found Hachi was still there waiting for Parker. Finally, Cate took Hachiko home and let her grandson kept him.

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            12.02.2011 17:19
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            well worth a viewing

            Hachi, a dogs tale is one of the saddest films I have seen for ages, I am a real softy when it comes to weepy flms especially when they contain animals and this certainly hits the spot.

            It is based on a true story.

            The film starts with Parker Wilson ( Richard Gere), a proffessor who finds a puppy and eventually falls in love with it, so much so that his wife Cate ( Joan Allen) puts off someone calling regarding the dog and states that its already been taken.

            As the years go by Hachi and Parker become very close and when he goes to work Hachi starts to follow him to the train station and returns to wait when he knows he will be coming home.

            Even the staff that work at the train station get to know Hachi well and get used to seeing him every day.

            Then Parker dies suddenly and Hachi feels something is wrong when Cate sells the house and Hachi goes to live with Parkers daughter. He does not settle and feels the urge to still go to the train station so he escapes and waits as he normally would for his owner.

            He becomes well known with everybody and even the papers write an article on him. People read this and feel they want to help so they send money to the train station so that he can have food.

            Hachi waits and waits until years have passed and even as he gets old and tired he still goes daily to wait for his beloved owner, until he cannot do so anymore.

            ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
            When I first watched this film I did not realise it was a true story, but when I watched it a few more times it seemed more tragic as believing that this had really happened was heartbreaking to see.

            It shows the unique bond between a dog and its owner and true loyalty at its peak. There is now a statue of Hachi at the train station in his waiting position.

            I feel Richard Gere is a great actor and he brought something magical to this film too, as he portrayed the bond with the dog brilliantly, Cate his wife was not as close to the dog although she did care, she was never portrayed as the owner and was not shown to play with it much, it was all Parker.

            The music that accompanied this film was good too, very gentle piano music which added to the saddness especially near the end.

            I think this film is more for the ladies as it is a true weepy, and you will certainly need you tissues by your side, But I recommend anyone to watch, it is truly a beautiful film of love, friendship and devotion.

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              07.11.2010 21:11
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              A loyal dogs futile wait

              Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2008)

              Genre: drama/family

              Writer: Stephen P. Lindsey & Kaneto Shindo
              Director: Lasse Hallstrom

              Cast:
              Richard Gere - Parker Wilson
              Joan Allen - Cate Wilson
              Jason Alexander - Carl
              Erick Avari - Jasjeet
              Davenia Mcfadden - Mary Anne
              Sarah Roemer - Andy Wilson
              Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa - Ken

              Plot:
              Parker Wilson is a professor that takes the train to and from work every day. One day, as he gets off the train he finds a small puppy which he takes home and names Hachi.
              Every single day Hachi accompanies Parker on his walk to the train in the morning and then returns home.
              And, every single day Hachi returns to the train station at five o'clock and greets Parker as he returns home from work.
              One day Hachi begins acting strange and doesn't seem to want go with Parker, but eventually does. And, he once again returns to the station at five o'clock to wait. However, this time Parker never arrives.
              How long will Hachi continue to wait for his friend and master?

              My thoughts:
              ** may contain spoilers **
              This is a very good family movie. It is a remake of the 1987 Japanese movie called Hachiko Monogatari. It is a true story that took place in Japan through the 1920s and 30s about a dog named Hachiko. The dog is actually immortalized by a statue that sits outside of the train station where the story took place. It's a touching and heartwarming story about friendship and loyalty.
              The movie has a great story that is very well written and very well directed.
              The movie has a very good cast which provide very good performances.
              Richard Gere was very good as Parker Wilson. At his age and with his gray hair and glasses he very much looked the part and gave a good performance.
              Joan Allen is also good in her small role.
              Both Jason Alexander and Erick Avari are excellent in their supporting roles and often bring more to the film than their counterparts with the bigger roles.
              The dog, whose real name I do not know, is also very good. He is very well trained and is quite a good actor. He was very good at conveying sorrow and sadness and his sullen face could almost break your heart.
              Overall, this is a very good movie suitable for the entire family. It combines drama with a little bit of humor and a whole lot of heart. I would definitely recommend this one.

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                10.05.2010 20:42
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                A film that will restore your faith in the world

                This is a movie only Review

                This movie is also out under then name of "Hachiko- A Dog's Story".

                I had seen a trailer for this movie and the dog who plays the role of Hatchi (a Japanese Akita) is so gorgeous, I just had to watch the film.

                The movie is based on the true story of a puppy who is being sent from a Monastery of Buddist Monks to (we assume) the Japanese Royal Court (there are hints that "dogs like this are Royal Dogs") but on the plane journey the cage the dog is in comes open and the "To: " label becomes torn so no-one knows who the dog belongs to.

                Richard Gere's character finds the puppy all alone on a train platform and he takes it home for the evening as the conductor at the train station will not put the puppy in the lost and found room.

                The movie is centred around the dog and how it becomes a big part of Richard Gere's life- despite his wife's protestations about them having a dog and his endless attempts to train it. The main focus of the film is what happens after Richard Gere's character passes away and how the dog reacts.

                All I am going to say (rather than going into any more detail...) is I do not normally cry at films, but at the end of this movie, I was hysterical. I balled my eyes out for about an hour. There is something about the story and especially when you realise it is a true story that just makes it unbearably sad!

                I would recommend this movie to anyone who either needs a good cry, likes feel good films, likes family movies, likes dogs, thinks the puppy is cute, is a fan of family films or just likes the look of the dog on the cover.

                There is a statue of the real Hatchi at Sapporo Station in Japan if anyone is visiting there. I am really glad this film was made into a mass audience movie by the folks at Hollywood as I think the story is just as delightful as it is heartbreaking. Keep a box of tissues at the ready.

                I know it's not just me who had cries buckets at this film as a friend at work said his mum was even crying when she was trying to tell him about the film- so I don't think I am alone in my reaction to watching this movie.

                The main cast are:
                Richard Gere
                Sarah Roemer
                Joan Allen

                This film gets an 8.1 out of 10 on IMDB which is a really high score!!

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                  16.04.2010 20:30
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                  Loved this film and will be obtaining it on dvd asap

                  Hatchi A Dog's Story.
                  ***May contain a few spoilers be warned***

                  Director .. Lasse Hallström, famed for also Chocolat and The Cider House Rules.

                  Starring ...Richard Gere, Sarah Roemer, Joan Allen and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa

                  It took a while for me to make the connection but i first saw this some time ago , well at the end of last year to be exact under the name of Hatchiko, anyway it was a fantastic film, a film I am sure many whom have had pets will be able to relate too, for those that have not had the pleasure in watching this then i highly recommend you hitting the cinemas as soon as you can.

                  Parker Wilson played by Richard Gere is a simple man ... an ordinary man that is a commuter to work and whilst on his way home he stumbles across a small dog, that has been shipped to the USA from Japan, The dog was in some kind of crate but due to an accident it fell off its crate in transit cracked open and the dog managed to escape.

                  Anyway Parker takes the dog to the ticket collector whom says he can only look after the dog for a short amount of time then he will have to send it to the pound. Parker is a family man so decides to take the puppy home , after all he does not want ot see it put in the pound and face an uncertain future.

                  Parker takes the puppy home and his wife, Andy played by Sarah Roemer is a bit shocked but insists that the dog can not stay there so they go about making posters and contacting who they can to try and rehouse the dog , but you can see that Parker has developed a kind of link with the dog, and it is this relationship that is the focus of the film.

                  Parker seeks advice about the kind of dog from his co worker Ken , played by Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, he informs parker that indeed the dog is Japanese and that the symbol that was around the neck of the puppy means Luck. During all this the issue of rehousing him his still be enforced by his wife and during one phone call where a person is willing to claim the dog she glances out the window and sees her husband (Parker) playing joyfully with the puppy and their eldest daughter and only daughter Cate , played by Joan Allen , she then says to the caller that the dog has been claimed.

                  Parker is over the moon with the decision to keep him and sets about spending time with the dog that he has now named Hatchi, Parker then sets about teaching the dog all kinds of commands one in particular is the fact that Parker allows the dog to accompany him to the train station to see him off to work. During this task Hatchi becomes part of the small community they live in and the community take him in he is greeted by everyone just as much as Parker is.

                  Overall I found this a very deep, touching heartfelt film that made me ohh and aww allot , Hatchi really is a talented dog and to discover it was all based on true events, discovering this made the film more poignant, it makes you relate to your own pet if you have one it makes you want to get a hold of them and give them a cuddle, it was really good how the film makers seemed to tell the story from the dogs point of view, I also found the film to be the biggest tear jerker i have seen so be well warned ... do not see this film wearing mascara, but if you do make sure it is waterproof.

                  I have seen other films from the director Lasse Hallström and have to say he has yet again managed to pull on the heart strings yet again, but to me personally he managed to do it so well this time that i actually cried like a new born baby who was in need of a bottle.

                  Richard Gere played a great role too it was good to see him play the family man instead of a womaniser, so if you are expecting something along the lines of Pretty woman or an Officer and gentleman then you will be disappointed, as with this role he is a main character but not so much as the dog, However if you are fan of his you will still drool over him just don't expect him to be talking to much.

                  Since first watching this film i have watched it with all 3 of my daughters and it has never once failed to get me reaching for the Kleenex and it also had my girls doing the same , it really is a film to watch and suitable for everyone and defiantly a must for dog owners , it will make you think on how you dog looks at you.

                  Hatchi was great , it showed how a dog can touch the lives of so many people, and how a companionship can be loyal not only between humans but with animals too. With the film being based on a true story you will discover that a large Bronze statue to this day site in the same spot as Hatchi did so many years ago waiting for his master to return.

                  This film takes the saying one man and his dog to another level and a defiantly must see and own

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                    27.03.2010 23:27
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                    A moving family film based on a true story of a dog.

                    Hachi is a film directed by Lasse Hallström (My Life as a Dog) and starring Richard Gere. It's based on the true story of the famous Japanese Akita dog named Hachiko.

                    PLOT (spoilers)
                    When commuting home, a college Professor finds an abandoned Akita puppy at the train station. Unable to find the owner he 'adopts' the puppy naming him Hachi (meaning eight in Japanese - the symbol on Hachi's tag). A strong bond is quickly developed. Hachi follows the Professor to the train station each day while he heads to work, and upon his return the Professor finds Hachi waiting at the train station for him. One day while at work, the professor has a heart attack and dies suddenly. Hachi continues to wait at the train station for a decade.

                    --------

                    I watched this film without having any idea of the story - it was just recommended to me. Early on, I found myself bored, the first half an hour seemed as if it wasn't going anywhere - a perfect American family find a puppy and keep him, then what? I almost left the film at that point, I couldn't have guessed what was coming.
                    Once the story finally broke it hit me that the build-up was leading up to something more heart-wrenching then I had imagined. From that point on I cried for the remainder of the film. I am a dog lover and this really moved me. I have never cried so much watching any film, and I never would have thought that a film about a dog would be the one film that made me bawl like a baby.
                    I kept telling myself that this was just a story, then just before the end credits the story of the real Hachi pop-ups with a picture of his statue in Tokyo. I cried even more, I was so upset that I was still crying the next day.
                    I watched it a week later thinking that the storyline wouldn't come as a shock a second time around, yet still cried almost as much.
                    I'm glad I watched this film, but at the same time wish I hadn't as it upset me so much.


                    This film is set in America in the 1990s, the real Hachi lived in Tokyo, Japan in the 1920s. A national hero, a stuffed Hachi can be found at the National Science Museum of Japan and a bronze statue sits in his famous spot at Shibuya Station, Japan. A succesful Japanese film was also released titled Hachikō Monogatari.
                    Some of the changes I found irritating - who was the Japanese man who seemed to know everything about Akitas? When the professor's wife visits the train station and see's an older Hachi still waiting, why was she surprised? 10 years had passed and Hachi was now famous for it, yet she seemed to be the only one who didn't know. Did her daughter, who was meant to looking after Hachi, forget to tell her?
                    This film can be seen as corny and the Americanization of it certainly doesn't help; the American family are so annoyingly good-looking, lovely and perfect. But that doesn't take away from the real story here; a true story of loyalty and love between a dog and his owner and the loss and the grief. Hachi displays self-less love and longing to be reunited with his owner. To know that Hachi doesn't understand why, really pulls at your heart strings. What makes it worse is to know that a real dog suffered this way.

                    Aside from the flaws which are easy to ignore, Hachi is a lovely and moving story about on-going love and loyalty between a dog and its owner. I would recommend it to dog lovers and families. I would avoid if you have just lost a pet, want a feel-good film, or would be embarrassed of crying infront of your girlfriend. Make sure you have a box of tissues on hand.

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