Thread: Fatal Flaw?
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Old 03-30-2010, 04:26 PM   #27
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 3,059
Default Re: Fatal Flaw?

Originally Posted by Steven Jenkins View Post
What does Ric ACTIVELY do in most of movie to advance the plot, except feel sorry for himself? Nothing until the final scene at the airport. Lazlo is the prime mover of the action - his presance, his influence his wife, and all the frantic activity these generate.
"Presence" isn't an action, nor is the response it generates. He tries and fails to get Rick to give him the letters.

Rick hides the letters; Rick refuses to admit he has them (risking his own neutral status by doing so); Rick tells his band to go ahead and play the French National Anthem, getting his club shut down in the process (Laszlo asks, but they won't do it unless Rick tells them to); Rick decides to give the letters to Laszlo so he can flee to safety; then he comes up with and executes the plan to get Laszlo and Ilsa to safety, again, risking his own life and freedom.

(Besides, the letters aren't what the movie is about - they're the MacGuffin.)

Originally Posted by Hull
A neophyte writer trying to write "Casablanca" might struggle with the idea that he has a character that doesn't stick his neck out for anyone yet also has to be responsible for driving the plot forward. While you could argue that Rick does some of this towards the end of the film, in the beginning he could care less.
Again, he's hiding the letters and ordering his band to play the anthem long before the end of the movie. He starts the movie claiming he could care less, but it's clear very early that that's not true. It's clear when Ilsa walks into his bar.

Originally Posted by Hull
That's why I think it is important that writers find comfort in knowing that they can separate out the concepts of Protagonist and Main Character if they want to.
Honestly, I still haven't heard one example by you or Steven where it actually happens. Having a narrator, or empathizing with another character, doesn't make the protagonist not the main character, IMO.

Understanding the difference between the two opens up a world of possibilities.
Or confuses the heck out of people.
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