「忠犬ハチ公の取り扱い注意書き」 : パリジェンヌの東京映画レポート!

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コラム:パリジェンヌの東京映画レポート! - 第4回



Hachiko : “Beware of the dog”

Even Richard Gere loves "Hachiko". Even Richard Gere loves "Hachiko". 主演リチャード・ギアもハチ公とのご対面には感激

Who ignores the story of Chuuken Hachiko, the dog which used to accompany its master until the train station every morning and fetch him every evening, and stuck to this ritual nine years long after his death? Even the most ignorant tourists about Japanese culture rave about the dog’s bronze statue at Shibuya station. So the American Hachiko, remade by Lasse Hallstrom, does not really keep us in suspense. Why going and seeing it, thus? To cry.

Even if it happens in the United States and the professor is played by Richard Gere, the atmosphere still keeps something Japanese: the little Akita dog comes from a temple in Japanese highlands and wears at the neck the symbol “hachi”; Gere’s best friend is a Japanese professor adding something philosophical and talking in Japanese about fate to the dog… But this transposition isn’t offending because one thing brings all spectators together: emotion. Everybody cries while watching Hachiko. Quite impressing and… frightening. Hachiko tends to be viewed as a nice enough movie, but just think how dangerous it can be.

Let’s analyze its direct effect first. If Richard Gere accepted the role, it’s because merely reading the script, he started “crying like a baby”. Even if the dog is at the beck and call of the trainer behind the camera, the director makes us believe in its emotions and deep attachment to its master… As a consequence: a whole cinema room in tears. More or less conspicuously, of course. Women get out tissues, while men sit as stiff as ramrods. But deep down, they know: gentlemen, please acknowledge that you were upset too! Personally, I had seen the trailer with a lump in my throat, went to the screening repeating “no tears, no tears” and went out with red eyes…

Akita dog is generally known as a faithful dog, but... Akita dog is generally known as a faithful dog, but... 秋田犬は飼い主に忠実だと言われているけど……。

But in the long run, this little fluffy ball may devastatingly impact our society. In the movie, the professor’s grandson calls his dog Hachiko and concludes with “Hachiko will still remain my hero”. Vicki Shigekuni Wong, the producer, after falling in love with the story upon visiting Tokyo, called her dog and best friend Hachiko. Everybody wanted to photograph the huge cuddly toy Akita seating in the theater entrance… The rest is easy to guess: streets will be invaded with Akita dogs answering to the name of Hachiko… A crowd of dogs, all equally moving, with numbers to distinguish them… What about “Hachiko-hachi”? Of course, each one will be trained to wait devotedly for their masters at the train station (or the school entrance). After work, you will have to face with packed subways but also Akita dogs rows outside… No need to recognize the good one, it will leaf for joy and be all over you, like in the movie. Breeders and dogs’ wear business have their best days ahead… However, at the risk of disappointing some owners, I have to warn you: there is no need to wait for death at the office to become the legend. Your dogs won’t be stuffed and celebrated once a year…



亡き主人を9年間も駅で待ち続けたという忠犬ハチ公の物語を、誰がどうやって素通りできるでしょう? よっぽど無知な観光客でさえ、渋谷駅のあの銅像を知らない人はいません。そして今年、「マイライフ・アズ・ア・ドッグ」「ギルバート・グレイプ」などで知られる名匠ラッセ・ハルストレムが「ハチ公物語」をリメイクするというのですから、さっそく見に行ってみましょう。もちろん、号泣するために。