May I be permitted to state the obvious? Is it not possible to over-analyze a movie, especially when we attempt to make the story fit into a formula? Some of the best films are those that don't fit a standard outline, like Psycho
, in which the main character changes mid-story.
In a lesser movie, perhaps, should we be forced to decide whether Starsky or Hutch is the protaganist just so we can fill in a blank?
Standard outlines and formulae are great devices for a writer to use when constructing a story, but sometimes we need to deviate a little, and when we do the story may become more interesting or even meaningful.
In the above mentioned movie, I have to believe that Rick is the protag. That doesn't mean that Laszlo didn't help move the story along by his actions.
Now let's talk about Magnolia