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Hachiko: A Dog's Story

Movies are being produced in their hundreds every year; therefore, there is a wide variety in the quality of those. There are movies which have wide appeal for both, the individual and the masses, thus, commanding great following while there are others, which are distasteful and colorless both, to the individual and to the critics. A good movie is one which makes the viewer want to watch it again and again.

Hachiko: A Dog’s Story is such example of a movie, which I would recommend to anyone. The film endeared itself to me by its eloquent depiction of loyalty, which I believe is rapidly being eroded in today’s society (Chrystyn, 2009). The film Hachiko is based on a remake of a Japanese movie and follows the same story line. The dog becomes a national symbol of loyalty. The film directed by Lasse Hallstrom and written by Stephen Lindsey, is a particularly good watch, especially (but not exclusively) to animal lovers and enthusiasts. The main cast is Hachiko (the dog), Richard Gere as Parker Wilson, and Joan Allen as Parker’s wife.

The story is woven around Hachi, the dog, who gets sent to the United States as a puppy by a Japanese monk. The relationship between Parker and Hachi is coincidental since Hachi, never having been intended for Parker, falls off the taxi baggage cart at the train station and is stranded. It is while Hachi is wandering around the train station that he gets noticed by Parker. While the writer weaves a nice story about the meeting of the two at the train station, he complicates the plot when Parker’s wife does not accept Hachi into the family. Eventually, Parker’s wife comes to change her attitude after seeing the great affection between her husband and the dog, and accepts the dog as a member of the family. The beauty of the relationship comes out when the dog learns to accompany Parker to the train station in the morning, and thereafter picks him up after work in the evening (Flory, 2011). The story undergoes a terrible twist of fate, when Parker suddenly suffers a heart attack and dies from it. Hachi, nevertheless, continues to go to the train station every evening in the hope of seeing his master home. He does not let up for ten years that suddenly makes his loyalty the subject of talk in the town.

Hachiko becomes the token of compassion and unswerving loyalty to all the people in the town. One of the most memorable events in the film is when Parker’s widow upon returning to the town goes to find Hachi at the train station. The sitting together of Hachi and Parker’s widow to await the next train is a very emotional moment, which can melt the hardest heart (Drazen, 2011). The end of the film comes in Hachiko making his way to the usual place upon which he usually waited for his master, whereby he lies down and never wakes up. Upon the death of Hachi, Parker is reintroduced into the movie, but as a ghost coming to reunite with his loyal friend Hachi, and they head out to heavenly bliss. Hachiko has left a legacy and has become the embodiment of loyalty and unwavering devotion. The movie offers a strong message of what is required of all humanity as demonstrated by a dog (Freedman & Yasumari, 2011). This is a movie which I would recommend to everyone not only because of its eloquent teaching on loyalty, devotion, and lifelong friendship, but also for its own sake in entertainment value.

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