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Wendy and Lucy: Film Narrative

  • Date Submitted: 04/20/2010 05:11 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 58.7 
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Wendy (Michelle Williams) and Lucy (a dog by the same name, owned by the director) are the protagonists of the road movie Wendy and Lucy. It was directed by Kelly Reichardt, who also co-wrote the script, along with Jon Raymond. The movie is based on a short story by Jon Raymond (Scott, 2008).

The movie Wendy and Lucy is aptly classified in the ‘road movie’ genre as the story not only focuses on Lucy’s road journey from Indiana to Alaska, but the film also portrays ‘mobility as essential to narrative structure and political commentary’ (n/a, From Classical Hollywood to Counterculture).   This will be further elucidated in the subsequent paragraphs.

The movie commences with Wendy walking Lucy in the park, and Wendy humming to herself. This sets a pleasant and gentle tone for the movie, when unexpectedly, Wendy cannot locate Lucy. ‘Lucy, come on back girl! Where’d you go?’ She says. And the credits appear. This poses a hint towards the plot of the movie, and how the story is going to progress. It also depicts the love Wendy has for Lucy, and how vital the dog is in Lucy’s life.

Wendy is not an incompetent ‘drifter’, i.e. a person who has no established address or any certain means of support. The notebook in which she records each of her outflows and the money belt in which she carries her dwindling amount of money are examples of her being of parsimonious disposition. She is portrayed to be almost genderless, in shorts and a plaid shirt, her hair cropped really short. Wendy is an androgynous ‘nobody’, a reluctant American representative of the hard times due to the financial crisis through no fault of her own. With less than $600 in savings, she hopes to make it to Alaska, with Lucy, with no predicaments arising.
Things go skewed however, when Wendy’s car breaks down in Oregon, and she realizes the bag of Kibbles for Lucy is almost over. She makes an ill-conceived judgment to lift some cans of dog food from the local super market, only to be caught by an...


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