Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Protagonist vs antagonist

How can it be Wednesday already? How strange. I am now into my 4th week of the scriptwriting course and I am finding it both impossible and possible, excruciating and exhilarating. I recently read that you know you're a writer if you can't be happy unless you write....but writing doesn't make you happy. That makes me laugh!! (which is always a good thing, especially on a Wednesday night).

So this is something really interesting which I learnt in my class yesterday...the climax of a script always has the protagonist battling his/her antagonist. This battle may be symbolic, it may not always be obvious, but it is always there (unless you're watching an arty-farty film, but my course is all about making commercially successful fun stuff). So, the question is the climax of "Tootsie"...the protagonist is Michael (Dustin Hoffman's character)...but who is the antagonist?

The antagonist is Dorothy, who doesn't really exist, because she's a role Michael plays so that he can get an acting job. In this scene, Michael "kills" Dorothy because her "existence" makes it impossible for him to have an authentic love relationship with Julie.

Don't you just love that?

P.S. Who noticed Geena Davis in that scene? How funny is that? I think my next post will be about the "glimmer of hope" in the 3rd act of "Thelma & Louise"....stay tuned.

1 comment:

Duyvken said...

Thanks for sharing this all with us, Eleanor. It's so interesting!