Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Hero or villain?
We all love the hero, but it's just us here now...admit it...isn't the villain a little more fascinating sometimes?
For example, in Gladiator. Yes, Russell Crowe was an incredible hero and he earned an Oscar for his efforts. Yet, how could you not help but to be riveted by the evil and deranged performance of Joaquin Phoenix? Perhaps Gladiator is a poor example because the hero's character carries with him enough pain and trauma to flesh him out as significantly as the villain. But many times we can cheer on a hero, only to find that he is nowhere near as intriguing as whatever makes the 'bad guy' tick.
In Heat, two masters of the art face off. Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro. Is there a hero and villain in that duo? Yes, the characters reflected that, but as a viewer you just strapped yourself into the roller coaster and watched these actors execute a dance of talent that you never wanted to end.
Can we not make the argument that Darth Vader far exceeded the attraction of Luke Skywalker? Was Heath Ledger's Joker not more fascinating than Batman himself?
I am a romance author. I love my heroes, and I always want them to win, but the villain will continue to fascinate me. The villain will make my mind work extra hard to analyze his motivations. Without the villain, my hero ceases to exist.