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wcmartell 03-30-2010 09:32 PM

Re: Fatal Flaw?
I haven't entered into this coversation because I ran out of mushrooms and can't find my last two panes of blotter.

- Bill

NikeeGoddess 03-30-2010 09:43 PM

Re: Fatal Flaw?

Originally Posted by Biohazard (Post 632054)
The protagonist is the main character.

not always. see my examples a couple of pages back.
shawshank redemption
road to perdition
million dollar baby
to kill a mockingbird
training day

all of these (and i'm sure there are many others) where there's a main character in a story told by the protagonist through voice over.

joe9alt 03-30-2010 09:51 PM

Re: Fatal Flaw?

Originally Posted by wcmartell (Post 632069)
I haven't entered into this coversation because I ran out of mushrooms and can't find my last two panes of blotter.

- Bill

I am worried about Lowell.

He may end up rocking in the corner of some asylum thinking he's an orange for the rest of his life after this one.


asjah8 03-30-2010 10:05 PM

Re: Fatal Flaw?
i really don't get what's so complicated about this. million dollar baby is frankie's story (eastwood), maggie is the antagonist, and we learn of frankie's journey through eddie's perspective (freeman); because, he's a character that's able to analyze both the protag and the antag from both a personal and non-biased perspective (ie., directing through pov). i think jeff is right, this basic foundational concept has just been waaay over-analyzed.

JeffLowell 03-30-2010 10:31 PM

Re: Fatal Flaw?
Laszlo... Laszlo... Laszlo... Laszlo...

billmarq 03-31-2010 12:14 AM

Re: Fatal Flaw?
Wasn't the play originally titled, Everyone Comes to Laszlo's?

No, wait ... :)

TwoBrad Bradley 03-31-2010 12:52 AM

Re: Fatal Flaw?
Random stuff:

- Tolstoy said, The best stories don't come from 'good vs bad' but from 'good vs good'.

- That's why Laszlo works so well as Rick's antagonist.

- Casablanca is a love story. Most stories are.

- "Main Character" is not meant to be a "standalone label". The audience experiences the story though the "eyes" of the MC. The Main Character is the MC and also another character type. The MC can also be the protagonist, antagonist, confidant character, etc.

(Interesting thread, BTW)

TheKeenGuy 03-31-2010 12:53 AM

Re: Fatal Flaw?
I think there's an interesting discussion to be had about split protagonists, but I have no idea why CASABLANCA came into it, because by no measure is Laszlo a protagonist.

CITIZEN KANE would be a much more interesting film to analyze in regards to this. You have the reporter and his conflict about discovering the nature of Kane's last words, and then you have Kane himself. The reporter acts as a surrogate protagonist for the sake of moving the plot forward.

A narrator character like Red in THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION fills a similar role. It's not their conflict. It's not even fully from their perspective, but occasionally they take on that burden, and they usually have their own conflict to overcome as a subplot that further informs the theme of the film.

I don't know if there's an official term for these kinds of characters. Shame on me for not reading the thread closely if someone knows and provided that answer. I've referred to them as "access" characters in the past.

Mac H. 03-31-2010 01:05 AM

Re: Fatal Flaw?

Originally Posted by NikeeGoddess (Post 632074)
all of these (and i'm sure there are many others) where there's a main character in a story told by the protagonist through voice over.

I can see why they are all stories told by a point of view character narrating.

But where is the argument that the POV character/narrator is the 'main' character?

Surely 'main' character isn't necessarily the one narrating. If you someone what the movie 'The Castle' is about, they aren't going to say it's about a kid who doesn't do much - but has a father involved in a court case to save the house.

You'll say the film is about a guy going to court to save his house. The fact it's narrated/POV is from a kid doesn't make the kid the main character.

They would say the main character is the guy the story is about.

The narrator doesn't need to be the main character.


Steven Jenkins 03-31-2010 05:19 AM

Re: Fatal Flaw?
Using Dramatica's theory of character traits -
regarding the war
Lazlo - persues resistance efforts,
Rick - avoids by being neutral
Strasse - hinders Lazlo's efforts to escape and continue carrying the flag of resistance against fascism

regarding the letter of transit
Lazlo - persues
Rick - prevents
Ilsa - reasons (until she uses a gun make him reconsider)
Strasse - helps (by closing Rick's place, making it possible for Ilsa to see Rick while Lazlo's at a meeting).

regarding emotions
Rick - persues a solution from Ilsa
Ilsa - prevents
Lazlo - hinders rick's desire to get Ilsa back
Strasse - helps (by shutting Ricks place, allowing Rick and Ilsa to kiss-and-make-up, then get Lazlo out of the country)

regarding lazlo's escape
Rick - persues the plan to fool everybody and get Lazlo and Ilsa on the plane.
Strasse - prevents (by calling the control-tower).

the fact that Lazlo does most of the persuing makes him protagonistic, but what he's persuing isn't the main drive of the movie - which is Rick's issues with Ilsa. So Rick is the protag of the main storyline.

This is only a simple breakdown, but its enough to show the complex interweaving storylines, and what (changing) roles the various characters play in each. It's a film with two storylines and two protags. Rick's protag is the focus of the movie, it's his POV, he's the MC, so Rick is the Hero of the movie.

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