Fatal Flaw?

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  • #91
    Re: Fatal Flaw?

    Originally posted by JimHull View Post
    The Protagonist carries the logical argument of the story, the Main Character carries the emotional argument.
    Seems like if you twist the meaning of protagonist enough, you can make it support almost any theory, so I'm not going to argue over definitions. I think yours is wrong, but I give. Define it however you want.

    I will say this about Casablanca though: if you actually set out to write it with the notion that Laszlo is the protagonist, I don't think you'd end up with the movie we all know. For one thing, you'd probably have him do more stuff than sing a song, get arrested and have some bar owner save his ass.

    I mean, Ilsa goes back to face a jilted lover, pulls a gun on him, and ultimately convinces him to stick his neck out for her. Maybe she's the protagonist?

    But whatever we call Laszlo, can we at least spell the guy's name right?

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    • #92
      Re: Fatal Flaw?

      Damnit, Lowell beat me. Let's just all agree he's the antagonist, and call it a day.

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      • #93
        Re: Fatal Flaw?

        I would argue that Casablanca is both a love story between Rick and Ilsa AND a story about a resistance leader trying to escape the Nazis. The former is the heart of the story, the latter is the head of the story (logical argument). The both work in concert to create meaning. This is why it stands the test of time. Many stories, especially nowadays, leave out the heart of the story and concentrate solely on the logical side of things.

        Your example of Lazlo as protagonist is actually an example of him as Main Character. I certainly don't think he's the Main Character of the story.
        StoryFanatic - story structure and analysis for screenwriters
        http://storyfanatic.com

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        • #94
          Re: Fatal Flaw?

          Originally posted by JimHull View Post
          I would argue that Casablanca is both a love story between Rick and Ilsa AND a story about a resistance leader trying to escape the Nazis. The former is the heart of the story, the latter is the head of the story (logical argument). The both work in concert to create meaning. This is why it stands the test of time. Many stories, especially nowadays, leave out the heart of the story and concentrate solely on the logical side of things.

          Your example of Lazlo as protagonist is actually an example of him as Main Character. I certainly don't think he's the Main Character of the story.
          If Casablanca is two stories, then why not argue that Rick is the protagonist of the love story and Laszlo (sorry about the previous misspelling ) is the protag of the resistance story?

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          • #95
            Re: Fatal Flaw?

            A love story is not an emotional, internal or "heart" story. Rick is pursuing a tangible thing: a person. Ilsa.

            Yes, there are multiple stories going on, but Rick and Ilsa's story is what drives the entire plot of the movie. If Rick didn't love Ilsa, he would just hand over the letters and be clean of the entire mess. He would have his purported goal - neutrality - back. There is only a movie because he doesn't want to see Ilsa leave with Laszlo.

            But he doesn't hand over the letters. He's caught in a love triangle, complicated by the fact that he's sympathetic to Laszlo's mission - and so is the woman he loves. It's a genius love triangle, but that's what the movie is.

            I was afraid to say this and open up another front in the war, but I think dmizzo is right - Laszlo is the antagonist. He is what stands in the way of Rick and what he wants.

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            • #96
              Re: Fatal Flaw?

              LOL

              here comes another one.

              Rick is Lazlo's antagonist (he refuses to give him the letters) Not Strasse. Which makes Lazlo the protagonist of the fight against fascism angle.

              Ilsa is Rick's antagonist, as she stands in the way of his emotional healing, which makes Rick the protagonist of the love story.

              Strasse doesn't become the antagonist until he tries to stop the airplane from leaving (before this he's merely a nuisance - he doesn't even arrest Lazlo, or Rick). Strasse only becomes the single antagonist after Lazlo, Rick and Ilsa patch-up their differences.

              Rick then becomse a double hero by overcoming both Ilsa and then Strasse. So is it that Rick only becomes the protag of both stories AFTER he overcomes his own battle - even more heroic than the exemplory (and european) Lazlo?

              Do these two stories echo the conflicts of 1940's USA - refusing to get involved in the war because of bad memories from the ww1, then overcoming that to pick up the fight against fascism. (I'm assuming the stageplay was written before the US did commit).
              Last edited by Steven Jenkins; 03-30-2010, 05:49 PM.
              "Would you take a f**k to save your president?"

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              • #97
                Re: Fatal Flaw?

                Is this thread serious? Does this actually exist in the Internet somewhere? Does a guy who TEACHES film really want to argue the point that EFFING LAZLO is the PROTAGONIST of CASABLANCA?

                This entire thread should be nuked, people should be banned, mothers should hide their children, because if people from the Internets find this thread, no one will take Done Deal Pro seriously ever again and the world as we know it will end.

                What a ridiculous notion. I've heard some genuinely subjective arguments toward film structure, but never one as off the wall as that. Good lord...

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                • #98
                  Re: Fatal Flaw?

                  No, no, no...we're halfway there.

                  HH

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                  • #99
                    Re: Fatal Flaw?

                    Originally posted by JeffLowell View Post
                    I take it all back about Dramatica. I found a really easy to use chart that made it all make sense.

                    http://storymind.com/free-downloads/ddomain.pdf
                    Holy fvck!

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                    • Re: Fatal Flaw?

                      The protagonist is the main character.

                      Casablanca - Rick's story
                      Star Wars - Luke's story
                      The Terminator - Sarah's story
                      The Godfather - Michael's story

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                      • Re: Fatal Flaw?

                        I haven't entered into this coversation because I ran out of mushrooms and can't find my last two panes of blotter.

                        - Bill
                        Free Script Tips:
                        http://www.scriptsecrets.net

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                        • Re: Fatal Flaw?

                          Originally posted by Biohazard View Post
                          The protagonist is the main character.
                          not always. see my examples a couple of pages back.
                          shawshank redemption
                          road to perdition
                          million dollar baby
                          to kill a mockingbird
                          training day

                          all of these (and i'm sure there are many others) where there's a main character in a story told by the protagonist through voice over.

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                          • Re: Fatal Flaw?

                            Originally posted by wcmartell View Post
                            I haven't entered into this coversation because I ran out of mushrooms and can't find my last two panes of blotter.

                            - Bill
                            I am worried about Lowell.

                            He may end up rocking in the corner of some asylum thinking he's an orange for the rest of his life after this one.

                            "I hate to break it to you but there is no big lie. There is no system. The universe is indifferent.- - Don Draper

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                            • Re: Fatal Flaw?

                              i really don't get what's so complicated about this. million dollar baby is frankie's story (eastwood), maggie is the antagonist, and we learn of frankie's journey through eddie's perspective (freeman); because, he's a character that's able to analyze both the protag and the antag from both a personal and non-biased perspective (ie., directing through pov). i think jeff is right, this basic foundational concept has just been waaay over-analyzed.
                              life happens
                              despite a few cracked pots-
                              and random sunlight

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                              • Re: Fatal Flaw?

                                Laszlo... Laszlo... Laszlo... Laszlo...

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