Fatal Flaw?

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  • Ronaldinho
    replied
    Re: Fatal Flaw?

    Your disagreement is exactly what I didn't like about MDB.

    The first two acts are her story, and then suddenly it turns into a story about him. The third act is very much his story, and it ends up being really tedious and unsatisfying (to me) because it's not dealing with the character I care about and the issues I found interesting up to that point in the film.

    YMMV.

    Leave a comment:


  • Biohazard
    replied
    Re: Fatal Flaw?

    Million Dollar Baby - the title even says it's Maggie's story.

    She the protagonist. She is the character that has the goal that drives the story on what all else hinges. We watch her grow and struggle and push forward with the help of her unlikely mentor.

    Frank's not the one in the ring fighting. Frank's not the one riding the bus home, longing to have a better life. Frank's not the one trying to support his family. Frank's not the one doing anything except trying to help the protagonist achieve her goal.

    Sure, Frank may have struggles of his own and might even arc, but it's not his story.

    Leave a comment:


  • asjah8
    replied
    Re: Fatal Flaw?

    bio, i respectfully disagree about maggie in mdb. her stakes in the story - she desires to be a ring fighter. she didn't start the story as one, so she didn't have anything to lose except going back to the trailer parks. since the extended family thread was only a light offshoot of the dt, i don't see that as being high enough stakes for such a powerful story. a journey is about regaining what is lost. maggie can't regain what she didn't lose, and can't lose what she didn't have.

    frankie on the other hand was created as someone who has something to lose. he's already lost a prize fighter that abandoned and humiliated him; and; he's already lost his daughter. both stakes are high; one is personal, the other is professional. frankie has a journey to make and when maggie walks in the door, she immediately sets him on edge. to me, that's what an antagonist does -- pushes the protag into a corner and then keeps coming; ie, upsets the ordinary world.

    maggie is frankie's million dollar baby - she's a representation of daughter, fighter, pride, determination and respect all rolled into one package. exactly what frankie is missing but a flaw he doesn't recognize until his ordinary world changes. when frankie pulls the plug on her assisted life machine, he's both physically and symbolically letting go of his flaw and recognizing that he can go on as a healed individual. the film is his story and what this scrappy, determined girl did to change his life.

    anyway, that's how i see mdb. everyone has a different perception and half the fun of writing lies in the interpretation.

    Leave a comment:


  • zenplato
    replied
    Re: Fatal Flaw?

    Originally posted by Biohazard View Post
    I find it strange that something as elementary as determining the hero of a story confuses anyone on these boards.

    The protagonist is the main character - it's their story.
    Things like this seem so obvious...I guess not.

    Leave a comment:


  • JeffLowell
    replied
    Re: Fatal Flaw?

    Originally posted by TheKeenGuy View Post
    I can't tell you how pissed off I get when the Academy does something like nominate Ethan Hawke in TRAINING DAY for Best Supporting Actor.
    I don't believe that's the academy's call. I believe sometimes actors go "down a weight class" believing that there's less competition.

    Leave a comment:


  • TwoBrad Bradley
    replied
    Re: Fatal Flaw?

    This goes way back so I might have it wrong.

    I seem to recall that James Woods went berserk during an interview for Against All Odds when the interviewer implied he was the antagonist and not the protagonist.

    Leave a comment:


  • Laura Reyna
    replied
    Re: Fatal Flaw?

    Originally posted by TheKeenGuy View Post
    I can't tell you how pissed off I get when the Academy does something like nominate Ethan Hawke in TRAINING DAY for Best Supporting Actor.
    This still bothers me.

    Hawke has as much or more screen time as Washington-- as well as being the protagonist!

    Leave a comment:


  • JeffLowell
    replied
    Re: Fatal Flaw?

    Originally posted by NikeeGoddess View Post
    TANGENT ALERT!
    i feel bad for the wives and girlfriends of some of you geeks that love hearing yourself talk so much that you over-fricken-analyze to death. do you come here b/c they won't listen to you anymore? geeez! that's what you should be writing about. write what you know!

    geeks who over-fricken-analyze to death turn into nerds... which is not a good thing.

    ok - as you were
    or NOT
    Excellent 2448th post.

    Leave a comment:


  • Steven Jenkins
    replied
    Re: Fatal Flaw?

    Originally posted by NikeeGoddess View Post
    TANGENT ALERT!
    i feel bad for the wives and girlfriends of some of you geeks that love hearing yourself talk so much that you over-fricken-analyze to death. do you come here b/c they won't listen to you anymore? geeez! that's what you should be writing about. write what you know!

    geeks who over-fricken-analyze to death turn into nerds... which is not a good thing.

    ok - as you were
    or NOT
    yeah - but HOW?

    Am I the main character or the protagonist? And who's the cat playing - (probably my mentor).

    There's nothing wrong with nerdiness - I'm pretty glad overall that there's a few nerdy architect's out there who know the difference between a firedoor and catflap.

    Leave a comment:


  • TheKeenGuy
    replied
    Re: Fatal Flaw?

    I can't tell you how pissed off I get when the Academy does something like nominate Ethan Hawke in TRAINING DAY for Best Supporting Actor.

    Leave a comment:


  • Biohazard
    replied
    Re: Fatal Flaw?

    Originally posted by NikeeGoddess View Post
    shawshank redemption
    road to perdition
    million dollar baby
    to kill a mockingbird
    training day
    Not familiar enough with some of those films to give an accurate reply, but I will say this...

    Shawshank Redemption - Andy's story
    Million Dollar Baby - Maggie's story
    Training Day - Jake's story

    The character that begins the story with a specific flaw or need and ends up falling into what becomes the principal conflict that creates a specific goal for the character which drives and gives purpose to every event of the story and forces the character to change or grow to overcome his/her flaw in the end...that character is the protagonist, because it's their story.

    I find it strange that something as elementary as determining the hero of a story confuses anyone on these boards.

    If you can't immediately pick out the hero and villain of TRAINING DAY, then I don't even know what to say. I'm definitely not qualified to handle a matter that severe.

    The protagonist is the main character - it's their story.

    Leave a comment:


  • NikeeGoddess
    replied
    Re: Fatal Flaw?

    TANGENT ALERT!
    i feel bad for the wives and girlfriends of some of you geeks that love hearing yourself talk so much that you over-fricken-analyze to death. do you come here b/c they won't listen to you anymore? geeez! that's what you should be writing about. write what you know!

    geeks who over-fricken-analyze to death turn into nerds... which is not a good thing.

    ok - as you were
    or NOT

    Leave a comment:


  • Rantanplan
    replied
    Re: Fatal Flaw?

    For stories where there might be a main (focal) character AND a protag, here's from Wiki:

    In any narrative, the focal character is the character on whom the audience is meant to place the majority of their interest and attention. He or she is almost always also the protagonist of the story; however, in cases where the "focal character" and "protagonist" are separate, the focal character's emotions and ambitions are not meant to be empathized with by the audience to as high an extent as the protagonist (this is the main difference between the two character terms). The focal character is mostly created to simply be the "excitement" of the story, though not necessarily the main character about whom the audience is emotionally concerned. The focal character is, more than anyone else, "the person on whom the spotlight focuses; the center of attention; the man whose reactions dominate the screen."[1]

    So following that differentiation, in T2 Arnold would be the focal character but the audience's emotional investment lies with the protag(s), i.e. the kid and Sarah Connor. Yes, no?

    Leave a comment:


  • Laura Reyna
    replied
    Re: Fatal Flaw?

    I didn't read all of the posts...

    I'm one of those who doesn't make a distinction btwn the "Main Character" and "Protagonist" in my head. MC, protagonist, Hero-- they are all the same person in my head. The person with the goal that drives the story. But I've never written a story that had a seperate narrator or POV char.

    I don't think most writers think about labeling these kinds of things when they're writing. All this comes out of academic, after the fact analysis. Maybe if I was writing a paper to impress a professor I would think about it more.

    As a writer, I try not to over analyze too much, try to keep it as simple as possible. Writing movies is hard enough already without tying yourself in knots over this kind of stuff.
    Last edited by Laura Reyna; 03-31-2010, 01:18 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • JimHull
    replied
    Re: Fatal Flaw?

    "Titanic" I'll skip because I don't think it was particularly that great. As far as "Best Friend's Wedding" goes I would definitely say that Julia Roberts is both the Protagonist and Main Character. I would say her efforts to subvert such wedding end in failure, but she is in a much better place. I would categorize that film as more of a Personal Triumph - the efforts to pursue the story goal (the problem everyone is dealing with) end in failure, but the Main Character is in a much better place.

    Personally I don't think the goal everyone is dealing with in Casablanca revolves around whether or not he gets Ilsa, so I wouldn't categorize him as the Protagonist. It was mentioned previously that this was what Rick was pursuing and that this was the main goal of the story, so I was trying to use that as an example.

    I have a whole series of articles I wrote on Endings last year here: Meaningful Endings. Each one has a several video clips that help demonstrate my arguments. They should help explain that I don't think every story needs to have a happy ending (in fact, my favorites don't).

    This goes back to what I believe is the incorrect assumption that the Protagonist is the character we care the most about, or empathize with the most. I believe that responsibility lies with the Main Character. When it all comes down to it this is an argument over definitions, and my argument is that the presently accepted definition of the Protagonist as being the character an audience empathizes most with is inaccurate.

    Re: Ronaldinho, I agree that the relying on the ending to define your Main Character is absurd. I was using the ending of a story to help define who the Protagonist is. If you accept that idea that stories are about solving problems, then it follows that you would want to know whether or not those problems are solved and who was leading the charge towards him.

    Leave a comment:

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