Movie Review – Hachi

Posted: June 2, 2013 in Movie Reviews
Tags: , , , , , ,

Hachi or Hachiko is widely regarded as the cutest of all pet stories. And when you have this cute tag under the film then it’s very predictable as how the movie would be. And as predicted we see a cute little dog getting lost in the initial scenes. The sequence of events leads the dog to get into the hands of Richard Gere, an amazing actor. Thanks to the pup he is hugely overlooked. As all the time the focus is on Hachi we hardly get to see this guy faring so well.

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Before watching the film I wanted to check as to how many hours the movie was going to run. Not being a big fan of pet stories I was happy that the running time was about 93 minutes. But as soon as you enter imdb you somehow get a spoiler. This time it was “please carry your handkerchief” post at the bottom of the page. So I was almost sure as to what to expect before watching the movie. Not a great spoiler in terms of story but intent wise, yes, definitely a spoiler.

As said the film starts with Hachi getting lost while being transported from Japan to United States. Hachi finds Parker (Richard Gere) in the station and Parker couldn’t resist taking him to home. All the while his eagerness to take the puppy home is clearly evident but for some reason he asks the station master about having the puppy with him. Once he goes home we get to know why he was hesitant. It’s because of his wife who hates pets as much as he loves them.

With heavy heart he tries to sell the puppy but to his good fortune he gets to keep the pup and seeing Parker happy his wife lets go her ego. Richard gets to know the name of the pup from the dollar it has. Hachi grows from a pup to a dog whereas the rest remain as it is. Nothing much can be criticized because the initial growth of a dog is pretty fast when compared to humans. I’m not sure about the number of dogs being used but not even for a second I could feel that the pup and the dog were different ones. But the growth for me was all of a sudden.

Now everyone knows the bond between Hachi and Parker. Hachi is a loving dog and Parker is a loving human. You can call him an ideal husband, an ideal dad. He has enough amount of feminine feelings in him. A true metro sexual man. The way he takes care of Hachi like his own son shows how good a human he is. There is not much character analysis done here. We see only the good side of people. All the focus is on Hachi. But in those little intervals where humans could be seen Gere scores. The way he communicates with Hachi, his wife and the rest of the cast it’s amazing. I’m curious to know about Richard Gere’s personal life. Whether he exhibits this much of warmth in real life because I could rarely see him acting. As far as I could see I saw him being him without any inhibitions. A man who does not consider about the public image of being called a dud just because of being soft.

The saddest part of the film is when Gere dies. I loved the way death was dealt in this film. It happens all of a sudden. It shook me when I was watching the film as I was rarely expecting it to happen at that juncture. If we humans with sixth sense couldn’t deal with the death which happens without any notice then an animal with five senses barely knows anything. That’s what happens to Hachi. Hachi could hardly understand what has happened. After sometime he realizes what has happened. He comes to know that his master is not going to open the gate at station to meet him but still being a humble soul he sits there in front of the station every evening.

Another thing is we see Hachi sad a lot of times, those close ups with the dogs jaw dropping makes us feel for him but whenever Hachi is happy its Gere who expresses his feelings. Yes Hachi reciprocates his masters’ feelings but I’d have liked to see Hachi happy personally too. We find him sad and desolate whenever he’s shown alone. For a change, after meeting his master he might be happy to go around and sleep. It could have been shown for a change. All these are trivial and hugely unnecessary too for this kind of movie. But for a director who has taken decent amount of effort by showing something from dogs’ point of view in black and white for a first time. This too he could have given a thought rather than making a movie which looked as a movie made from paper cutting.

I’m a big fan of feel good, weepy and lovey dovey movies but when you think and write about the latter you hardly have anything to say. It’s all about the feel.  Hachi wasn’t able to provide me the feel with Pursuit of Happyness did. Though I try to refrain from comparing, having watched a lot of movies I tend to do that impulsively. Hachi as said is a dogs tale said from a third mans point of view and that’s the only thing I regretted. It’d have been nicer if I had seen it from the dogs’ point of view.

In spite of all this shortcomings this movie might cater to a large group of audience. Especially for people who have pets. My friend a considerably manly fellow was cribbing all the while seeing his dog die. I’ve never had a pet and not interested to have it too. This in human nature of mine might me one of the reasons for me to not like the movie much. Another thing would be, what else, sheer ego!

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