Hachi is a American remake of the 1987 Japanese film ハチ公物語 (Hachiko Monogatari) which is based on the true story of a dog named Hachi. It’s is a remake, so a lot of things have changed (except the Japanese dog).

Hachi is sent from Japan but his cage falls out of place and gets out wandering in the train station when he first meets with professor Parker Wilson. Wilson intends to find the real owner but as time passes and nobody comes to claim the dog, Wilson finally keeps Hachi as a new member of his family.

Hachi grows up and everyday he sneaks out of the house to wait for his master at the train station for years. Until one day his master dies and never returns to the station, still Hachi keeps coming back, waiting for his master every single day.

The story is moving and sensational, although I feel somehow the director tried to focus on human rather than the dog. Or may be because it is supposed to be Japanese? I really love the music by Jan A. P. Kaczmarek. The story gets gripping and very emotional in the latter part of the movie, so just hang in there until then. I bet the original film ハチ公物語 must be exceptional.

The real Hachiko was born in Odate Japan in 1923. When his master, Dr. Hidesaburo 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. Later they built a bronze statue of Hachiko sits in his waiting spot outside the Shibuya railroad station as a symbol of loyalty.

★★★☆☆ acting
★★★☆☆ actors/casting
★★★☆☆ story
★★★☆☆ music/sound effect
★★★☆☆ direction/composition
★★★☆☆ overall

movie: Hachi | director: Lasse Hallström | release: 2009

2010.08.08