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    November 8, 2010

    MOVIE REVIEW: HACHIKO A DOG'S TALE

    HACHIKO: A DOG'S TALE (English/U)
    Genre: Drama/Family
    Release Date: 21 October 2010
    Distributor: Golden Screen Cinema
    Running Time: 93 minutes
    Directors: Lasse Hallstrom
    Producers: Richard Gere, Bill Johnson, Vicki Shigekuni Wong
    Writers: Stephen P Lindsey
    Casts: Richard Gere, Joan Allen, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Sarah Roemer, Jason Alexander, Erick Avari
    Plot: This heartwarming true story is an American adaptation of a Japanese tale about a loyal dog named Hachiko. This very special friend would accompany his master to the train station every day and return each afternoon to greet him after work. Sadly his master departs one day, passes away and never returns to the station. Hachiko faithfully returns to the same spot at the station the very next day, and every day for the next nine years to wait for his beloved master. During his daily visits, Hachiko touches the lives of many who work near and commute through the town square. He teaches the local people love, compassion and above all unyielding loyalty. Today, a bronze statue of Hachiko sits in his waiting spot outside the Shibuya station in Japan as a permanent reminder of his devotion and love.

    THE VERDICT


    Movies about the adorable canine have much been tainted, no thanks to the toilet humors in Marmaduke. If you think Hachiko is just another canine movie, perhaps read on and reevaluate your thoughts. From the Swedish director Lasse Hallstrom whom we were more familiar with the Oscar contender flicks like Chocolat and The Cider House Rules could have convinced the big names like Richard Gere to star in this heart-warming movie. Seen the potentials now?

    Hachiko: A Dog's Story is an updated version of a Japanese tale about a loyal dog named Hachiko. Taken into a modern day setting, fate and destiny allowed Prof. Parker Wilson (Gere) with a lost Akita puppy at a train station. Over the years, they develop a very unique relationship and this very special friend would accompany his master to the train station every day and return each afternoon to greet him after work. Sadly Prof. Wilson departs one day, passes away and never returns to the station. Hachiko faithfully returns to the same spot at the station the very next day, and every day for the next nine years to wait for his beloved master.


    Hachiko is divided into two parts. The first part portrays a strongly heart-warming tales that develops the unique relationship between the master and Akita puppy. The second part is the immersely appealing and tear-jerker, touching at every sense it can be. Lasse Hallstrom is a household name that has made so much quality films, and this time he managed to muscle out an extraordinary movie about love and devotion of a dog plus the loyalty that one should never underestimate the capability of an Akira breed.

    This is no ordinary movie yet it is hard to comprehend why this movie does not recieved bigger opening scale. Dramas like these are always been ignored and the arthouse films like this is always been looked down. Sadly, it is true. The movie managed to highlight the love and loyalty by causing a lot of tears to be rolling by the time this movie ended. The emotion is genuine rather than a pure manipulation. Not even the hard-hearted could bear the spills of emotion of it.

    While the American update did not felt as great as the original 1987 original Japanese film, the movie deserves some recognition with its warm and winning story that managed to inspire many. It is well acted and well-timed thanks to the never-get-tired-of Richard Gere and strong performance by the puppy and Joan Allen themselves. It could hard to believe that this movie will follows the legendary and iconic Lassie as one another canine inspiration. In the end, the movie is strongly recommended but try to bring a box of tissue into the cinema or in front of your laptop, please!

    THE RATING
    Story - 4.0 stars
    Casts - 4.5 stars
    Cinematography - 4.0 stars
    Effects - 3.5 stars
    OVERALL - 4.0 stars
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 16.3
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