Thread: Fatal Flaw?
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Old 03-31-2010, 10:28 AM   #117
JimHull
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 28
Default Re: Fatal Flaw?

No, I would never do that...

My apologies to those who think I've tarnished the image of DoneDealPro. I didn't come in here to piss people off or offer an invitation to the Flat Earth society. The OP expressed concern that his story had a fatal flaw and pointed to one of my articles as a point of reference. He was then told that the problem was that his Main Character was not the Protagonist which by now you should know, I don't think is always that necessary.

For those who think I'm nuts for proposing that Lazlo is the Protagonist I know where you are coming from, and I would have thought the same ten, maybe fifteen years ago. I by no means think he is the Main Character! The film is obviously about Rick, it his story, and it is his emotional journey we are on.

But I do believe there is value in understanding the difference between the character who drives the efforts towards the goal and the character through whose eyes we witness the film.

I'm sure everyone would agree that the ending of "Casablanca" is a triumphant ending. The good guys win and the Main Character, though perhaps a bit remorseful at losing the girl, is in a better place. We see the end results of his efforts as being a good thing. He had a bad attitude in the beginning, and he overcame it. On the other side, the good guys win and the bad guys lose. This is the definition of a triumphant ending.

If Rick was the Protagonist, and by that I mean the character who drives the efforts towards the goal, then I think for the film to have the same sort of ending Rick would have ended up with Ilsa. Thankfully for us lovers of great stories that didn't happen!

There is a larger problem going on in the story of "Casablanca" that everyone is dealing with -- the resistance (good guys) vs. everyone's favorite bad guys the Nazis (bad guys). From this perspective, the bar owner, the french resistance fighter, the chief of police, the bartender, and so on - all these characters display the relative value between doing what is best for themselves (self-interest) vs. doing what is best for others (self-sacrifice). Note that I avoided using proper names -- this is essential when looking at a story from a purely objective view.

Internally, and more personally to the audience, we have that same struggle going on with Rick and Ilsa. This is a more subjective view into the problems presented in the story. I propose that it is the juxtaposition between the two different views that makes this film so great.

By combining both views it is offering us something that we cannot get in real life -- the chance to step outside of ourselves and look at what goes on from a purely objective view.

This is why stories are so wonderful and so important and why we keep going back to them over and over again - because they offer us something we don't get in real life: meaning.
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