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Are main protagonists always favourites?

Naughty_n_nice IF-Rockerz
Naughty_n_nice
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Posted: 19 May 2008 at 12:06pm | IP Logged

Hey guys,

Just something i felt while looking at certain discussions... When we read books, or watch movies, plays, etc... Is it always the main protagonist who is the favourite of most people? Or do you pick favourite characters even among the "bad" ones? For example, I love the Harry Potter series, but i don't have any liking for Harry Potter the character at all...

Why is that we always have a majority of people who like ShahRukh Khan, Amitab Bacchan, Hrithik and Amir Khan... But you'd never really find many Amrish Puri, Anupam Kher or Amjab Khan fans now would we?

Why so? Why do you feel that it's always the "main" characters who get all the popularity, even though the negative characters might have acted twice as good? (Or in the case of books, the negative characters who are much more interesting and charming, yet never really liked...)

-Sam

Morgoth IF-Rockerz
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Posted: 19 May 2008 at 4:38pm | IP Logged
Like or dislike is a matter of relating to a character, agreeing/disagreeing with their behaviour, and understanding their motivations.

If you relate to the antagonist, then yes, you will end up liking him/her more than the protagonist. This is especially true with grey characters like Snape (Harry Potter).

The problem is that most times, even if you do understand the antagonist's motivations, what he/she is essentially doing is not the right thing. The antagonist can never become a role model or an idol, which is why his/her popularity is limited.

E.g. Gabbar from Sholay is a one-dimensional, negative character. While you may appreciate Amjad Khan as an actor, his character will never be liked.

And, in the real world, people tend to mesh real life characters with on-screen celeb personas. That's why the "hero" is more popular than the "villain."


lighthouse IF-Dazzler
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Posted: 19 May 2008 at 8:09pm | IP Logged

Originally posted by Morgoth

.....
The problem is that most times, even if you do understand the antagonist's motivations, what he/she is essentially doing is not the right thing. The antagonist can never become a role model or an idol, which is why his/her popularity is limited.

 Well said..!!! Success of Munnabhai movies and SD's character which did 180 degree turn from being -ve proves we have inherent likeness for righteous ppl. Whereas Aamir Khan's character in Fanaa went from being a good guy to -ve didn't do much for him or the movie comparativley.Smile

qwertyesque IF-Rockerz
qwertyesque
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Posted: 19 May 2008 at 8:22pm | IP Logged

Originally posted by Naughty_n_nice


Hey guys,

Just something i felt while looking at certain discussions... When we read books, or watch movies, plays, etc... Is it always the main protagonist who is the favourite of most people? Or do you pick favourite characters even among the "bad" ones? For example, I love the Harry Potter series, but i don't have any liking for Harry Potter the character at all...

Why is that we always have a majority of people who like ShahRukh Khan, Amitab Bacchan, Hrithik and Amir Khan... But you'd never really find many Amrish Puri, Anupam Kher or Amjab Khan fans now would we?

Why so? Why do you feel that it's always the "main" characters who get all the popularity, even though the negative characters might have acted twice as good? (Or in the case of books, the negative characters who are much more interesting and charming, yet never really liked...)

-Sam

Sammy, the movie revolves round the protagonist who actually drives any point... even if other characters may be lovable.. make some point here and there.. all said its always the protagonist.. now about the question you make is slightly different.. why we talk about heroes and not about the other props..its mostly because most props are replaceable.. not to belittle their effort.. but thats the truth..

return_to_hades IF-Sizzlerz
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Posted: 19 May 2008 at 10:18pm | IP Logged
Protagonists are the central character of a story. The protagonist need not be the good guy or a likable character. It is just one common cliche to have the protagonist be a 'hero' of sorts.

There are so many movies, shows and books focusing on negative characters in a central role. So many negative characters like Tony Montana, Humbert Humbert, The Corleone's have taken center stage. Even in India films like Darr have put the negative characters in center stage. Shows like Prison Break and Oz deal with the 'bad guys' and in Weeds the protagonist is a weed selling suburban mom. The bad guys are loved too, how many Vader fans out there.

People have always had a fascination with the dark side. Cliches are hard to break though.

In the Harry Potter series, amidst the fans I know Harry Potter rarely scores as someone's favorite. J.K Rowling has developed so many strong popular characters that even the antagonist Lord Voldemort and pro-antagonists Bellatrix, Lucius, Draco etc muster a large fan following.
corvette IF-Rockerz
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Posted: 20 May 2008 at 6:43am | IP Logged
Heroes are boring and one dimensional

Villians are exciting...and can be redeemed and become heroes

So in a nutshell, like Tina Turner said, we dont need another heroe......

We just need another Gabbar! Wink
(mind, Gabbar being a hero would be serious character assassination...)

Angry M Angry

Angry M Angry
Naughty_n_nice IF-Rockerz
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Posted: 20 May 2008 at 7:05am | IP Logged

@Madmadgirl: ROFL LOL What an analysis!!! LOL

@Qwertyesque: Well, i agree, that it's the "main guy" who drives the point... But very often, the bad guy's just as important! True, they can't be "liked". But why are they never even appreciated?

Like, for example, there's the new book series Twilight. There's the charming handsome and extremely understanding Edward Cullen (The whole WORLD loves him i think)... And there's Jacob. He's done absolutely NOTHING bad. He's almost a perfect role model. But he likes the same girl that our hero Cullen likes. Result? People hate him, why though? He's not the "main" guy there, he's not bad either! (yet) If liking is too much to ask, why not some appreciation at least? Embarrassed
qwertyesque IF-Rockerz
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Posted: 20 May 2008 at 8:33pm | IP Logged

Originally posted by Naughty_n_nice


@Madmadgirl: ROFL LOL What an analysis!!! LOL

@Qwertyesque: Well, i agree, that it's the "main guy" who drives the point... But very often, the bad guy's just as important! True, they can't be "liked". But why are they never even appreciated?

Like, for example, there's the new book series Twilight. There's the charming handsome and extremely understanding Edward Cullen (The whole WORLD loves him i think)... And there's Jacob. He's done absolutely NOTHING bad. He's almost a perfect role model. But he likes the same girl that our hero Cullen likes. Result? People hate him, why though? He's not the "main" guy there, he's not bad either! (yet) If liking is too much to ask, why not some appreciation at least? Embarrassed

See we all look up to some ideals.. and positive at that... so its always common to look up to the hero and identify than look up to the anti-hero.. If you read the ramayana....its always about the good v/s the evil...people worship Ram although he is not a brahmin and Ravana is shown as a brahmin and still people consider him evil.. What Rama has achieved by being born as God, Ravana has achieved throuhgh his effort.. its quite different...And yet hanuman, who is not the protagonist is appreciated and worshipped!!! so is vibhishan is appreciated.. think about it this way..

 regarding appreciation.. of course I dont think people dont appreciate these guys!!!! there are lot of those...sorry i am literarily and fictionally dead so I dont know the characters u mentioned but taking an analogy...circuit got the appreciation thouhg munna bhai was the protagonist....God Father mentioned above has Michael as the positive character..the protagonist has to be positive otherwise it doesnt sustain...even the bad with circumstantial reasons though negative has positive shades.. for eg.. Amitabh in Deewar...etc...

 

 in anything the world revolves round the protagonist... look around you - there is some hero... who is acting the protagonist..



Edited by qwertyesque - 20 May 2008 at 8:43pm

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