Hachi: A Dog’s Tale is based on a true story which happened in Japan in the 1920s. This film presents an updated and Americanized version of this story. It deals with the subject of an animal’s loyalty for their master.
Richard Gere plays an American music professor who finds an Akita puppy wandering at a train station. He takes the puppy home in order to prevent Hachi from being put in the animal shelter. Joan Allen plays Gere’s wife with humor and patience. All of the acting is believable and there were some very emotional scenes. The pacing of the story was good.
A lot of movies starring animals tend to have kids as the owners or companions in them. This is pretty much an exception. In Hachi, the kid is Gere’s grandson and he is the narrator of the story. Lasse Hallstrom, the director, has made a visually great movie. There are some scenes which were filmed from Hachi’s point of view. These were done in black and white, which I found to be an interesting way of presenting the animal’s thought. I’m happy that the director did not resort to using a voice over actor for Hachi’s thoughts. Visually and story-wise I would give this movie 5 stars out of 5.