Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (2009) – Movie Review

Hachi: A Dog’s Tale is the definition of a ‘tear-jerker’ movie. Having watched the film a couple times now, I find certain scenes especially difficult to sit through without a tissue at close range. Based on a real dog from Japan named Hachiko, this movie is set in the US, starring Richard Gere and Joan Allen.

The real story of Hachiko begins in 1923 when an Akita gave birth to a litter of puppies. Hachiko is named for his birth order, ‘Hachi’ meaning eight and ‘ko’ meaning duke. A university profession from Tokyo eventually adopts young Hachiko and the two build an incredible bond of love and loyalty.

Below, you’ll find a summary that will include spoilers so only continue reading if you wish to know how the story unfolds. Otherwise, you can skip to the bottom section if you’re interesting in finding where you can buy or rent this movie.

Movie Summary – Hachi

Richard Gere stars as a university professor who commutes to work each day by train. One evening he disembarks his train to discover a small, helpless Akita puppy near the train station. Unable to find an owner, he takes the puppy home where his wife, played by Joan Allen, reluctantly allows him to stay overnight.

Hachi quickly bonds with the family and is allowed to stay permanently. As he grows into an adult, Hachi breaks free from the yard day to follow his master to the train station. It slowly continues and becomes a pattern each day. Hachi follows his master to work and then returns each evening at 5pm to greet his master upon his return.

The loyal bond is strong and one day when his master does not return from work, Hachi remains steadfast in his commitment. Hachi continues to wait, faithfully looking for his master each and every day for many years, not knowing his owner suffered a fatal heart attack.

Hachi became known by everyone in the town due to his loyalty and upon the dog’s death a statue was erected in front of the train station where he continues to wait for his master’s return.

You can see how this move might pull at the heart strings. I cried like a baby.

Hachi Movie Review

Richard Gere and Joan Allen both deliver refined star power which gives a big boost the film. However, the movie will not be for everyone as it contains little action and suffers at times from a paper thin storyline. For me, the movie made an emotional connection that held my attention throughout the film. The movie isn’t your typical Hollywood movie as it does have a much slower pace.

Dog owners will most certainly enjoy it as we would all like to think our pets would be as thoughtful. And, the movie will serve as a good date movie for those seeking to cuddle as you witness devastating loss in the movie. If you enjoy dramatic films, then this might just be for you.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it both honest and touching.

Where to Rent or Buy the Hachi Movie?

If you’d like to watch Hachi, you’re in luck. You’ll find Hachi to rent or buy online at Amazon.com. The DVD is usually priced for purchase at around $10, while the movie can be rented for around $3.

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