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What Would People Think?

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Small Characters

After the horror of the last post, it's back to the movies with me.

[Potential movie spoilers. I intend to speak in vague terms, but I disclaim all liability for giving away plot points. If you haven't seen V for Vendetta, then...well, you've been warned.]

Just saw V for Vendetta. Very thought-provoking in that I was unsettled by the terrorist-as-hero (some images from the movie, especially the suicide bomb belt, brought up bad connotations in light of recent events). There were plenty of plot developments that threw me for a loop and anyone who has seen the movie knows what I am referring to.

But I was most intrigued by the character of Finch (Stephen Rea). More than "V" himself, Finch was an enigma to me. Here's this guy who's been in the Party 27 years, has been unquestioningly loyal, and who suddenly learns the truth about the government to which he has dedicated his life. What is he going to do? If he got to this point....to this high level in the Sutler government, he must believe to some extent in what it stands for, right? But he's also visibly disturbed by what he knows. And yet he continues in his job, trying to hunt down V. What's going through his head? In the end, I cared less about Evey, V, Chancellor Sutler, and England than I did about Finch.

[End spoilers]

That's par for the course for me. I'm always drawn to the small characters, the side characters, the best friends, the partners. I'm always upset when, invariably, James Bond's male colleagues bite the dust. In Lord of the Rings, my favorite character is Sam. In Harry Potter, it's Ron. In Casablanca, it's Louis. In The Big Sleep, I liked Harry Jones, the little guy Marlowe takes an inexplicable liking to....I guess because of his naive adherence to hoodlum rules.

Need I continue? In Citizen Kane, it's Jed Leland, followed closely by Mr. Bernstein. In Dark City, it's the William Hurt character. In Jaws, it's the Richard Dreyfuss character. In Romeo & Juliet, it's Mercutio, followed closely by Benvolio.

I've always liked Robin over Batman. Jimmy Olson over Superman. Horatio over Hamlet. (Well, okay that last one's pushing it.....but it's close.)

I can't explain it. I've just always liked the guy who's not the center of attention. While we're supposed to be paying attention to Mr. or Ms. Main Character, I'm always wondering about Mr. or Ms. Side Character. Not that I don't like many a main character, but well.....

Am I the only one like this? Anybody else out there understand what I'm talking about?


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