While I have been a massive Star Wars fan and I have seen the new Star Wars Episode 7, I will not deem it a Christmas movie. It’s been plotted too well to be released this Christmas, the toy stores are full of drones, masks, toys and BB8 robots you can control with your phone. It’s marketing done right. The amount of Lego Star Wars pictures I have been seeing on my Facebook feed was enough to disgust me and make me look for a movie I can call a true XMas movie.
Other people’s favourites include Home Alone, Die Hard, Elf, A Christmas Carol, A nightmare before Christmas, Love Actually and that one with Jim Carrey – The Grinch.
I am a bit non-conventional and I love a good story that talks about love and friendship and family. This is why last year I chose the Hawaiian themed Lilo and Stitch as my Christmas movie and this year, I went with the American adaptation of Hachiko. Having seen Marley and Me, I knew a dog movie would be good. That I would cry. That I will roll around in my tears in the Xmas morning among the discarded wrappers and chocolates.
I was right and I don’t regret a single moment.
How tight is the bond between you and your dog? Do you know how much love and loyalty there is between you? Is your dog as loyal as Hachiko? Wait, who is Hachiko? Well, this film will tell you.
The life journey of Hachiko or “Hachi” begins when college professor Parker Wilson (Richard Gere) finds the dog at a train station. Hachi is an Akita dog from Japan, characterized by its delicate features and milk-colored fur.
Parker and Hachi build an unbreakable friendship. Parker plays with the dog and teaches it how to catch a ball. And Hachi accompanies the professor every day on his way to the train station, and then returns to the station in the afternoons to greet Parker on his way home.
One day the professor passes away in class, and does not come back to the station. But Hachi continues to wait for him. Parker’s daughter, who lives out of town eventually goes to collect the dog to take it home, but afterwards Hachi faithfully returns to the station to wait for the professor.
“I hear and behold God in every object
“Yet understand God not in the least
“Nor do I understand who there can be more wonderful than myself
“In the faces of men and women I see God
“And in my own face in the glass
“I find letters from God dropt in the street
“And every one is sign’d by God’s name
“And I leave them where they are
“For I know that wherever I go
“Others will punctually come forever and ever”
The story of Hachi soon becomes the talk of the town. During its daily visits to the station Hachi touches the hearts of many people who work or live in the area. The dog teaches the local people about love, compassion, devotion and loyalty.
This film is an American adaptation of a true Japanese story about a loyal dog named Hachiko, and is also a remake of the 1987 Japanese film Hachiko Monogatari.
The real Hachiko was born in 1923 in Odate and a year later a professor called Ueno brought it to his home in Tokyo.
Just like in the movie, Hachiko followed the professor everywhere, accompanying him to Shibuya station every morning and then returning and waiting for him every afternoon.
One day in May 1925, Ueno didn’t come home because he died while at work. Mrs. Ueno gave the dog to her husband’s relative, but it returned to the train station every afternoon for about a decade.
Hachiko continued to go to the station until its death in 1935.
Hachiko was memorialized in a bronze statue, captured sitting in its waiting spot outside the Shibuya station to remind the community of its great devotion and love.