Originally Posted by JimHull
The current definition of protagonist is inaccurate because it can often come in conflict with a writer's intuition. The OP felt compelled to write a story where the character we experience the story through was not the one driving the efforts to resolve the problems affecting everyone. In clarifying the distinction between the two terms I only wanted to show that there was nothing wrong with his instinct.
I'm not saying this out of disrespect to the OP (and I'm in no position to anyway, having never written anything noteworthy), but he seemed quite confused about some basic terminology.
Originally Posted by Steven Jenkins
Basically I pit the MC against the Protagonist (who's now revealed to actually be the Protagonist of an evil plot) at the end of the film, if that makes any sense? Most of the movie is a smoke-screen, and MC spots the truth and foils the plan in the last few minutes of the film. How
- I don't know yet
The 'Protagonist of an evil plot' is simply an Antagonist. Every Bond movie villian is the 'Protagonist of an evil plot'. And who are they in conflict with?
That would be the Protagonist.
So really, once we correct the misuse of terminology there, we are left with a Protagonist pitted against an Antagonist, with no need for a Main Character fulfilling some separate story function.
There are many movies where the Antagonist masquerades as a good guy. That deception does not actually affect their story role.