Blabbering of a Fool
犬と私の１０の約束 (Inu to Watashi no Juu no Yakusoku)
Saitou Akari (斉藤あかり) lost her mother, Fumiko (斉藤 芙美子) to cancer at the age of 14. Before her passing, her mother agreed to Akari keeping a puppy as a pet, for fear that Akari might become too lonely while her father, Yuuichi (斉藤 祐市), who is a surgeon, is busy at work. Before Akari can keep the puppy, she made 10 promises to Socks, named so after the white patch on her right front paw.
As time went by, both Akari and Socks grew, and eventually Akari slowly forgets about the promises made to Socks, due to a shift in priorities: her new occupation as veterinarian in a zoo situated in another prefecture, and her new love with her childhood sweetheart, Hoshi Susumu (星 進). And so Yuuichi and Socks have only each other to depend on at home……
Despite being the J-movie buff that I am, I initially had poor expectations of this film, deeming as a typical tear-jerker. But about the many positive reviews I have read and heard, decided that I should watch it, and I was proven wrong.
Of course, the cutest part of the film is when Socks was still a pup, and Akari, a girl. Fukuda Mayuko (福田 麻由子) and the pup ‘Socks’ do have great affinity with each other onscreen (and I’m sure Fukuda-san had a great time working with Socks 🙂 ), but sometimes Fukuda just looks a tad too sweet (!?), and a tad too happy.
And then we are brought several years forward, with the adult Akari portrayed by Tanaka Reina (田中 麗奈), and Socks, a fully-grown dog. At this point, the plot kinda dulls. There isn’t much development for Tanaka-san’s character as Akari, except for her relationship with Hoshi, which I can only describe as ‘predictable’. Socks however gives the audience a different vibe about her this time, appearing as much more ‘mature’ (yes, even for a dog).
And of course, the ending. There can only be one thing devastating about the ending, and I dun think I need to mention at all. 🙂 And at this part, Tanaka-san gives a convincing performance of a girl who has lost her best friend. *sob*
HOWEVER! The film does not end on a depressing note.
Surprisingly, it is the performance of Toyokawa Etsushi (豊川 悦司) which impressed me. A perfect portrayal of a working dad who had no time to spare for his family, and then had to raise his daughter single-handedly despite knowing nuts about housework. A father who does not easily show his soft side to his child, yet eventually breaks down in tears when the 2 most important women are about to leave his side.
And of course, the silly expressions he gives when amused. 😛
Overall rating: 4/5. Points deducted for the eventually predictable story…and points given for the good-looking dog and Yuuichi.