Saturday, September 15, 2012

Do you like the evil guy in the movie?

Do you believe in evil? Richard Gere says he doesn’t believe in evil. He believes in darkness, but not evil. He believes people suffer from mental illness and that makes them do evil things. He doesn’t believe a person is thoroughly evil throughout. Even the worst of us has some good in us. The meanest guy has a soft spot. 

That’s what makes the characters in our fiction interesting. Perhaps the girl in our story is married to a man who, when angry with her, throws her little dog out of the door so hard, it breaks the puppy’s leg. When, afraid for her own life, she leaves him, he slits the throat of her cat.
Now, that makes me despise this character.  But later in the story we see that same man kneeling by an elderly, white haired woman in a wheelchair, her hand stroking his head that rests in her lap. We see tears on his cheeks. We hear him call her Mama. Then we rethink his evilness. He does love somebody and sheds tears with her.  Now he becomes a more interesting character. Actors like to play this character. We like to read about him. 
I don’t like unreal characters, characters who are all bad or all good. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have some good and some bad in him. One of the sweetest men I ever knew, cheated on his wife. One of the kindest women I’ve ever known is a huge gossip  about other women.

Think of characters from books you loved. Only in fairy tales do we have the perfect prince and the perfect princess. We know they aren’t real. We like people who have light and dark sides. I think a person who is always light-hearted and ultra positive is afraid of showing her true colors.

What about Scarlet O’Hara? What about Pretty Woman? I loved Richard Gere in Pretty Woman because he had that greed, selfishness and need for revenge. And Julia Roberts was a prostitute. But she was one of the most endearing characters of modern time. Richard Gere, the staring male, who could not show emotion, finally let his gentle side, his goodness come through. But neither he nor the pretty woman was perfect. That is why we love them.

What do you think about real people who never have a dark moment, feel sadness, or cry? Are your favorite characters in books and movies the good guys or the ones with some flaw? Who are they?


Tipper said...

Makes me think of the characters-we love to hate LOL! You are right we are all multi-dimensional people-with both good and bad characteristics.

Abbie Taylor said...

I actually prefer the good guys.

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of
We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap:
Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver