"Hachiko: A Dog's Tale" is directed by Lasse Hallstrom (The Cider House Rules), and is based loosely on the real life story of a dog, named Hachiko, who was born in Odate, Japan in 1923. His master, Dr. Eisaburg Ueno, was a professor at the University of Tokyo who died in 1925. Hachiko returned to the Shibuya train station the next day, and every day for the next nine years until he died in 1934. Today, outside the Shibuya train station, where Hachiko waited, is a bronze statue of Hachiko.
In this particular movie we have a similar story, only the dog is in transport to the United States, where he escapes, and ends up in Parker Wilson's (Richard Gere) possession. Parker eventually decides to keep the dog since the owner cannot be found. Hachiko, or Hachi, as he is usually called here, at one point breaks free of his yard, and follows Parker to the train station. Eventually Hachi is allowed to accompany Paker to the train station everyday. But at one point Parker never returns to the train station, since he has died at the university.
The movie then becomes a tale of a loyalty that reaches far into the bonds of memory. Hachiko never realizes that his master has died, and even though he never sees his master again, he never forgets him. What is Hachi's purpose now that his master has died? His purpose seems to be to wait for his master who will never return. It is at once moving and heartrending, as it is a tragedy of sorts, and one that is only resolved once Hachiko also dies. This is a beautifully told tale that makes one think about the things that are important for us to go on living, even after those that we have loved have died.