So, in the movies, in stories in general really [in in in in], there are an array of characters. But for the sake of my point, I will elaborate upon a certain type of story and two of the characters therein: the self-discovery, “coming of age” tale, and the protagonist and the weirdo that gets them going [and and and and].
The protagonist in these types is a generally normalish person who has maybe just lost their way or their general gusto for life. [Trade secret: the audience is supposed to relate closely with this character, and therefore go through the arc of the story/movie/thing in a very personal way. Thus, the protagonist, especially in bigger budget, larger distribution, stuff, is watered down/generalized/every-manned just enough to be relatable to the widest audience [i.e. the money spending sheep of consumerism and cinematic date nights and the like.]]
Then, there’s the weirdo. Possibly the psycho. The one who gets all those juices aflowing. This is who we want to be, or at least we greatly envy this character’s most obtuse… characteristic. Their unabashedness, their zest for la vida, or whatever else makes them the sparkly object in our peripherals. But this character is almost always eventually shown to have a downfall – emotionally stunted, past full o’ pain, an elaborate delusion of the protagonist’s split personality and therefore nonexistent, etc.
Now, MY POINT. When the movie is all said and done, the crescendo of music fades, the last bit of viewing information has left the screen – it is there that you can find yourself. A little, not like Jungian enlightenment or anything ridiculous. Just shut up and let me finish.
What I’m saying is – when it fades to black and you have to tuck your knees so the people in your row can go take a piss, who do you want to be? When all the plot points have finished, the cards are on the table, and you know all the director saw fit to show you, which life would you prefer?
Do you want to be that center of the universe protagonist – the Mr. Smith who’s a pretty good guy and learns something? Or do you want to be the borderline personality disorder that taught the lesson? Cady or Regina? Suzanna or Lisa? Tyler Durden or TYLER DURDEN?
It’s very easy to say we’d like to be the badass, guns ablazing cool dude that has the world as his fucking psychedelic oyster for the first hour of film. Very easy. But, to stick around in that skin through the shit second act, that takes a little more commitment, yes? To not only be soap making, leather jacket wearing Brad Pitt full of philosophy and sperm, but to stay through the gun in the mouth. Ok, this isn’t the very best example, let’s switch gears. To be not only the cool, yet anatomically misinformed, sociopath who runs the psych ward, but to also be the strapped down lifer whose dead already. A little better.
It’s probably obvious that I’m of the school of thought that favors the crazys. I, at this moment, think I could take the crushing blows that kind of reality would surely rain down in the long run. I do think it is better to burn out than fade away. I’d really like gray hair, but don’t want to live out my 40s. I would really enjoy being the light that burns twice as bright but half as long, and I feel honest admiration and jealousy of the characters who do so. Perhaps it’s a le “phase” or what-ever, but I like them and we’ve bonded, I’m keeping them.
Many will say that’s immature, irresponsible, insane. I appreciate the constructive feedback, please. And those people are the nice little protagonist who had a little wild and crazy fun, but now let’s be reasonable adults and get on with it, yes? Think of the good of society and so forth. Bullshit. Fuck society. But sure, go along and live your life in a can, in the cell you dress up with throw pillows and call a ten-year plan. I’ll be over here, sans mortgage and offspring. HaHA.
So, you spaghetti-eating reader you, I don’t want to put words in your actual mouth. You might be on a perpindicularly brilliant train of thought that hasn’t even occurred to me. So by all means, weigh the sides, measure them, and see which you find wanting. Then, tell me, who are you?