Even thought there is not a commonly agreed single definition for a trickster, Hydes and Hynes find common ground in saying that a trickster is someone who deceits, tricks , takes advantage of situations and certainly-among other things, disobeys normal rules. A trickster breaks the rules more often maliciously, as Loki for example; however, at the end usually the tricks end up having positive effects. Hynes mentions six characteristics most often found in the trickster. Even though not all of them are always present, in the film “Identity Thief” (2013) Diana (Melissa McCarthy) shows a few of these traits explained by Hynes.
Diana is a woman who steals people’s identities and spends their money up to the last cent. She has the innate talent to deceit people and to hide from the law, so she takes advantage of it. In the film, Sandy Bigelow Patterson is a mild-mannered Colorado businessman who is tricked into ...view middle of the document...
As they are driving through a highway, Patterson start s closing in on Diana; she then hits the brakes and Patterson rear-ends her vehicle. Trying to take advantage of the situation (not knowing yet why was Patterson following her), she gets off the car faking a neck injury. She starts being the bad guy and tries to end up being a victim.
“The trickster myth derives creative intelligence from appetite” (Hydes). By applying the meaning of this quote to analyze the scene of the movie in which Diana and Sandy stop by at a diner after a long drive while traveling back to Colorado, where Sandy plans to bring her to justice, it is obvious how her creative intelligence explodes as she takes advantage of a situation when she asks the waitress for a huge order and she is scolded by Sandy. Diana starts telling the waitress how her “husband’s” (Sandy) behavior is understandable after he had an accident in which his manhood was compromised. The waitress does not feel sympathy for Sandy of course, but she does for poor Diana; therefore, she ends up giving her a good meal-and for free!
This movie shows the modern-day trickster at its best. The trickster plays his “victim” over and over, causing him affliction, yet the audience is still able to find the trickster amusing as she drives people crazy with her unorthodox ways of making a living. In Hydes’ analysis on the tricksters stories, he reveals the usual pattern of predator-prey relationship; this relationship is present in this movie, may be not in the traditional and literal way, but symbolically as the financial predator interacts with its prey.
At the end of the movie and like most trickster stories, things are just fine. Diana goes to jail, but her relationship with Sandy becomes a true friendship. Sandy gets to understand Diana’s background and she vows to change her ways. In the American Indian story “How Coyote got his cunning” there is an explanation of how a mishap turned into a gift for Coyote after being ridiculed by the other animals; the same applies to Sandy who had a rough upbringing and turned out being witty and may be as cunning as Coyote.