Everyone called Hachi a mystery dog because they never really knew where he came from– Ronnie
Hachi is a move that floats. There are very few movies made like that. Which seem like they are floating. Terence Malick’s The Tree Of Life was one. Yes, there is a definite plot in these movies but it seems that they wander away at their convenience as well. While watching these movies, it seems as if the movie tries not only to explore the plot, but nature itself. The camera is a constant wanderer. I love these movies because they do not just appear to be a movie, they appear to be an experience. It lets you take in not only the plot and its characters, it lets you soak in the movie’s atmosphere, the surroundings, etc. The problem with The Tree of Life was that as a wanderer, it lost its way. Rather than coming back to the main plot, it kept on admiring the creation laid out before it. Hachi doesn’t lose its focus. It explores, but always comes back to the plot and progresses it when required.
Hachi is directed by Lasse Hallström and is about Parker Wilson (Richard Gere) who finds an abandoned Akira breed dog on a railway station and brings it home. Over a period of years, an unbreakable bond is formed between the dog, christened-Hachi and Parker.
There have been a lot of movies centered around people and dogs in the history of cinema, right from Old Yeller to Marley and Me. Hachi is the best entry into that category. Why ? Because in all those films, the dog has been exploited. Its cuteness, its antics have been used to sugarcoat the film’s flaws and make them into unavoidable viewings on a family movie night. Hachi has a balance. As much as it is about a dog, it is fully immersed in the lives of the other characters as well. The plot doesn’t ever remain stagnant. The lives of the characters are often witnessing humongous changes.
Now here’s a character which no other actor in this world can play expect Gere. His face radiates a warmth, without which this movie would have been a huge failure. The dog who plays Hachi is great. I have watched a lot of movies in which there have been beautiful acts by animals such as Dunston Checks In, but after watching those movies, I felt the animals were well-trained. But the dog who plays Hachi here is heartbreaking. There are genuine movements where you feel his joy, mirth and what not.
Cinematography is unbelievable here. This might be one of the most beautiful movies to have been ever made. The music, my god ! If ears had orgasms, it would be listening to these melodious and endearing compositions.
Hachi is a triumph. It is a narrative that changes shoes continuously. We see the same plot sometimes by Hachi’s mindset, sometimes by Parker’s and sometimes by Cate’s. The surroundings act as a character here. The camera work makes the whole world of Hachi so familiar to us that we ourselves feel a sense of confinement that Hachi feels when he changes his territory. The movie encompasses everything :- love, life, loyalty. It is a soundly edited movie as well, which progresses the plot just when you are beginning to get bored.
Personally, I started shedding tears half an hours into this movie. It reminds of my brief acquaintances with dogs and the love that I received from them. The movie shows that humanity exists. Hachi has no real reason to wait for his master except for love, but eventually everyone makes sense out of it. I wish we could have been like animals, loving selflessly, without any prejudices or hatred in their minds. I watched this movie two times in two days and I cried both the times till a point where tears couldn’t flow from my eyes because even they have a limit.
The movie is a masterpiece without a doubt. I don’t know when a film has connected more immediately with my own personal experiences. If I ever try to make a list of my all time favorite movies, this would find a place in the top 5. I loved every still of it, every Milli-second of the run time. It is a beautiful symphony about love and loyalty. Movies like Hachi is the reason why I fell in love with movies in first place. Movies like Hachi make you fall in love with life once again. If I will ever have a child, I will show him this masterpiece as soon as possible. I hope he has the same emotional experience I had the first time I watched it. Every time I revisit this movie, it makes me want to hug myself and think ‘God, I wish I was watching it for the first time’. I cannot think of any other movie in the history of cinema which is an enthralling and emotional experience like Hachi is. It is visual poetry set into motion.
Rating : 9.9 / 10
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