Sunday, June 7, 2009

10 Promises to My Dog

There I was finding myself visiting MySoju again and scrolling down the list of Japanese movies when I came across this title. I am a pet lover and I love movies about dogs especially, so when I read the title, I was immediately curious.
10 Promises to My Dog (Inu to watashi no 10 no yakusoku) is the story of Akari, a fourteen year old girl who finds a small Golden Retriever in their backyard one afternoon. She named this puppy Socks. Her mother told Akari that before she can keep the dog, she must agree to keep 10 promises to Socks. The story is told in a span of 10 years and we see Akari grew up, encounter problems, make career decisions, fall in love and be independent. All along, Socks is with her providing unconditional love and support.
There are countless of dog movies and basically all of them used more or less the same formula. Dogs are known to be man’s best friend and they give unconditional love and support. They are loyal and trustworthy. You can always count on them to protect you and your property. They will always be there for you.
The last doggie movie that I’ve seen was Marley and Me and like what usually happens, there was a dramatic overdrive at the end. I don’t know how 10 Promises to My Dog will deliver but as always, I succumbed to watching it.
The Japanese have their own way of crafting a beautiful and touching love story about man and his best friend. The 10 promises are as follows:
1. Listen patiently to me.
2. Trust me. I am always on your side.
3. Play with me a lot.
4. Don’t forget that I have feelings, too.
5. Let’s never fight. Someday I’ll win!
6. If I don’t obey you, I have a good reason.
7. You have school and friends, but I have only you.
8. Stay my best friend even when I’m old.
9. I’ll only live about 10 years, so let’s make every moment together count.
10. Never forget our life together. When my time comes, please be by my side.
Not exactly the best promises one would pledge to her beloved pet but the promises are full of trust, understanding and love.
However, the movie is not all about the dog and the girl. There are social issues highlighted in this film that are very good subplots. There’s overcoming death in the family, family against career, and personal aspiration against parents’ wishes. And we see Socks somehow find itself in the middle of the issues.
Not much to carp about the acting too. Mayuko Fukuda as the young Akari was perfect and Rena Tanaka as the older Akari was good as well. The father played by Etushi Toyokawa was likable as the father and even Ryo Kase as Hoshi was okay too.
However, hats off to the dog. She definitely stole the show. I thought Marley was already a good actor (he was played by several Labrador Retrievers) but Socks was totally lovable. She’s definitely the cutest. I want a dog like him!
Doggie movies are always my weakness but I never seem to get tired of them.

*pic from Google

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