Year of the Dog is one of those low-key, independent-type movies that many people miss. Just recently released on DVD, this film has gotten mixed reviews. What is important about it is that it dares to raise some serious issues on a topic that people often have strong feelings about. Molly Shannon, best known for her wacky characters on Saturday Night Live, plays Peggy, a single woman who relates better to her dog than to most people.
After getting another dog to adopt, she turns to be friends with the guy who does his job at the shelter. The movie makes an excellent job of showing how someone can, one step at a time, become a fanatic. She eventually takes home fifteen dogs to save them from extinction at the pound. She also attacks her neighbor with one of his own hunting knives (the neighbor she suspected of killing her dog), gets fired from her job after writing a check to an animal rights group in her bosses’ name, and even antagonizes her brother after taking his young children to a slaughterhouse for an educational experience.
What I admired about Year of the Dog is that it shows a character who never apologizes for sticking to her values, even when those values cause her to become practically insane in the eyes of society. You cannot say that the film is a propaganda piece for the animal rights movement (though I’m sure some people will say this). Peggy is portrayed as a volatile person, and the film -did I mention that it’s at least half a comedy?–often has us laughing at her expense, as when she takes home a carload full of barking dogs.
The film will something not that common in American motion pictures -it shows something questionable in a rather objective manner, without taking factors. As I brought up, Peggy did not apologize for her great position, but it doesn’t mean were designed to trust her. I believe, if anything, we are made to respect her to be herself whatever the price grudgingly. When he and Peggy concern this, nobody is victorious the dialogue; both edges are put out there for all of us to choose. And, in the end, the film reaches least all the about the psychology of Peggy doing whatever she has to do to find fulfillment than it is approximately the animal protection under the law issue by itself.
Peggy’s friend who introduces her to veganism is not parodied as a freak, though he is certainly not a conventional character As someone says in the film, there are just too many for them to deal with. This has shown again to be a nice place, not as parodied as it may look. On the other hand, when Peggy tells her brother and sister-in-law that she has adopted rescued animals in their name, and they laugh at her, it’s hard not to laugh with them.