Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Analyzing 'In Bruges'

Which Characters in the film correspond to each archetype? Do any of the characters fulfill more then one role? Are any of the roles fulfilled by more than one character?

Does the film subvert any of the archetypes? Which characters seem to fit into one category but twist it or surprise us?

Archetype dictionary definition: the original pattern or model from which all things of the same kind are copied or on which they are based; a model or first form; prototype.

The general Archetype story follow begins with a hero who has suffered a loss or is facing a dilemma. The hero is then set on a quest to resolve the predicament. other points to consider are: in the plot the hero faces numerous challenges physical or psychological. The hero escapes death more then one time. The hero has flaws which makes him/her seem more human. Generally the hero has a sidekick, or a helper/dispatcher (in propps theory). The hero escapes the villain. Finally, the plot would end with the problem solved.
These are the main characters which correspond with the general archetypes:

Ray (victim/hero): Ray is the protagonist of the movie, he is the flawed hero (even though it is ironic as ray is a hit man). The tragic flaw which makes him the hero is the guilt that succumbs him after he kills an innocent young boy during one of his jobs.

Ken (villain/hero): Ken is an interesting character as he fulfills different archetype roles. He begins as the villain, as he is assigned to kill Ray. However after he stops Ray committing suicide, he understands Rays guilt. his close friendship with Ray and his religious morals he disobey orders by not killing Ray. Thus not fulfilling his role as a villain. Instead, changing it to hero. He then tries to save Ray by sending him away, eventually this leads to his own death for disobeying orders. However even through his death he attempts to help Ray as his suicide gets the attention of Ray who then see's Harry moving in to kill him.

Harry (villain): He is the villain, as he plots to kill Ray i.e the hero. He is also interesting as his desire to kill Ray is drawn from his morals and principal that one should kill himself if he murders an innocent child even by accident. This is odd as generally villains dont live by morals or principals. Thus the character of harry subverts to his archetype in a slightest form.

Evaluate Propp's theory as a method to help us understand the film. How much does it apply? How much does consideration of the archetypes and characters and the extent to which they are similar or subverted help us to analyze the movie?

Propp's Theory: similar to archetype, however it is compared to folk stories rather than film plots. His theory is based on the idea that after a initial incident a certain number of functions will occur. He states that, this could be seen in almost every folk story. If using the theory on a general film plot, the theory can usually be proven correct. Reasons for this can be because that many films are based on books, which could explain the similarity in plots. If the theory is proven to be correct this can help us understand the structures of film plots easily.

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