In ‘Anatomy of a Fall,’ a woman finds herself on trial for the murder of her husband. At first glance, it looks like an accident, but when the investigation points towards foul play, the suspicion shifts to the wife, Sandra, who has to push for a different story of her husband’s death to protect herself. In between this, her son, Daniel, tries to figure out whether or not his mother is telling the truth, and in the process, he almost kills his beloved dog, Snoop. SPOILERS AHEAD
Daniel Poisons Snoop to Test His Mother’s Story
In protecting herself, Sandra is advised to go for the story that her husband was suicidal and killed himself. To support this, she talks about an incident that happened a few months before Samuel’s death, where she’d found him, one morning, unconscious in the bathroom, having puked several aspirins he had presumably ingested the night before. She labels it a suicide attempt, but there is no way to verify her story because no one else witnessed it.
When Daniel hears the story, he remembers that around the same time, his dog had fallen ill, too. He decides to test his mother’s account by giving Snoop a similar amount of aspirin his father must have taken. The next morning, Daniel finds his dog unconscious and having the same smell he had a few months ago when he’d fallen ill. This leads the boy to theorize that back then, Snoop must have ingested the pills in his father’s puke, due to which the dog fell ill. This proves that Samuel did indeed take the pills and almost killed himself all those months ago.
While Daniel had hoped to test the theory, he didn’t want to hurt his dog. The next morning, when he finds Snoop, he cries out for help and, with the help of Marge, makes Snoop puke so that the pills in his system are flushed out. This shows that Daniel truly cared about his dog and didn’t want him to die. He also feels guilty for having put Snoop in danger, but at the time, he is already in a very conflicted state of mind.
Daniel thought he knew his parents. He knew they fought, but he didn’t know that things tended to get violent between them. Over the course of the trial, he discovers a lot of things about Sandra and Samuel, which makes him wonder if he can trust his mother to tell the truth. He is so confused that he doesn’t know what to believe anymore. This is why, when he finds an opportunity to verify something his mother said in court, he takes that chance, even if it means he might kill his dog, whom he loves very much.
It’s quite relieving for the audience as well to see that Snoop doesn’t die and is not permanently damaged by Daniel’s actions. In fact, the dog continues to remain a source of comfort for Daniel as well as his mother, Sandra, no matter if she killed her husband. In the final scene, when she comes back home, Snoop lays beside her to keep her company, knowing that even though she won the case, she’d been feeling utterly alone. Considering that Snoop is the purest thing in the movie, it would have been heartbreaking to see him die. Luckily, things don’t go that far.