If you can appreciate that the true story this movie, starring Richard Gere, Joan Allen and a beautiful Akita, was based on, occurred several decades ago, you will most likely be moved to tears by the film’s conclusion. The movie recounts the life of Hachi, a dog found by a college professor as a pup. After trying unsuccessfully to find a home for the puppy, the professor (played by Gere) and Hachi form a strong bond. After the professor’s unexpected death, Hachi refuses to stay home and returns to the train station where he had awaited his master’s return from work each day. For the following ten years until Hachi’s death, street vendors in the area take pity on the animal and provide him with enough sustenance to survive.
Although it is unlikely that a dog could remain a stray in America for ten years in this day and age, the actual Hachi lived many decades ago in Japan. If a viewer can take this into account, the story is actually quite moving. Hachi’s grief and confusion after his owner’s death are palpable, and they highlight the dog’s, as well as dogs’ in general’s, loyalty.
I highly recommend the movie for all animal lovers.