Movie Details

Hachiko: A Dogs Story

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.

Language: English
Subtitle: NA
Classification: PG
Release Date: 21 Jan 2010
Genre: Drama / Family
Running Time: 1 Hour 33 Minutes
Distributor: GOLDEN VILLAGE PICTURES
Cast: Richard Gere, Joan Allen, Sarah Roemer, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa
Director: Lasse Hallstrom
Format: NA

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Review
Writer: Ezekiel Lee Zhiang Yang

Writer Ratings:
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Effects: NA
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Watch this if you liked: “Hachikô Monogatari” (1987), “Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey” (1993), “10 Promises To My Dog” (2008)

Shall we call this genre dog drama? This one's an American reupdate on the Japanese movie "Hachikô Monogatari" (1987), based on real life events about an Akita whose owner died and the animal theatrically waited everyday for the next nine years at the train station for his master to return. Entrusted to the able hands of that Swede Lasse Hallström, the man behind offbeat, sensitive stuff like "Chocolat" (2000), "The Cider House Rules" (1999) and "My Life As A Dog" (1985), you get a winsome, heartfelt tale without too many forced soppy moments. That's where someone like Richard Gere is able to fit fine, with that unassuming face of his.

Devoid of splashy Hollywood moments like "Marley And Me", this flick didn't make theatrical release in the U.S. and instead went straight to video as adjudged to be best by Sony. That's a shame because audiences reading into that and also the PG nature of "Hachiko" would think it scarcely more than tame family viewing. Truth is, with a great piano score by Jan Kaczmarek to boot, the flick can border on art and perhaps that's why they didn't have the confidence to market it as a mainstream movie, despite such recognisable stars.

In "Hachiko", the focus is mainly on the dog but the emotions are captured and reflected on the human beings who surround the animal. Richard "Smiling Eyes" Gere obvious aced this role while you also get to see Sarah Roemer ("Disturbia", 2007) and Joan Allen (the "Bourne" movies) while they are smaller roles from Jason Alexander (TV's "Seinfeld"), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa ("Memoirs Of A Geisha", 2005) and Erick Avari (the "Stargate" movies).

Dog lovers and anyone who enjoyed movies like "Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey" (1993) and "10 Promises To My Dog" will find "Hachiko" a great watch. Less enthusiastic audiences will find "Hachiko" a surprisingly tender and inoffensive addition to the dog drama catalogue.

Cinema Online, 17 September 2010
   
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Classification
Effective 15 July 2011
G - Suitable for all ages
PG - Suitable for all ages, but parents should provide guidance to their young
PG13 - Suitable for persons aged 13 and above, but parental guidance is advised for children below 13
NC16 - Suitable for persons aged 16 years and above
M18 - Suitable for persons aged 18 years and above
R21 - Restricted to persons aged 21 and above only
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