Characterization In Filmmaking : In Depth 1

Characterization




Character is something which perceives or views a situation.

Interesting Characterization :

Here are some examples of characters from movies :

Annie Hall, Diane Keaton of course as Annie Hall, Holly Golightly- Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffanys, Juno and Audrey Tautou from Amilie.

Why are these characters so important to us?

Anything that is common among all these characters?

They are non-conformists, unique individuals, very often eccentric; so all that contributes towards lending a touch of interest to these characters. We have a lot of characters in movies.Jack Niholson from One flew over the cukoo's nest,Munnabhai from munnabhai series.Joker from dark knight,Hannibal from silence of the lambs.

Munnabhai is famous all over the world.What makes this film popular is not the plot, but the Characterization of Munnabhai.

If you look at these all great characters, they all is stand-out,because of one is the way they perceive society, perceive situations and also the way they interact with others.so if they are unique characters,they standout that is just a very simplistic introduction to what makes characters interesting.


Appearance :

Characterization


Many times, what happen is appearance of character, they are extremely important.Characters become important, because of their appearance.

Appearances make them standout.

Let we take , Fargo and Erin Brokovich.

Now, what is so important about Frances McDormand's appearance in ‘Fargo’?

She is pregnant; she is a small town police officer.does she look like a police officer from any angle? 
Well perhaps in her clothes, she has the uniform but apart from that does she subscribe to the norms of a standard police woman? No, she does not,she stands out.Who would expect a pregnant female police office  investigating a very brutal murder?

Julia Roberts in Erin Brokovich,it got her the academic award.Why does she stand out by way of her appearance; she is after all a social activist, environmental activist, but what is the way she dresses up is matters in this film.she is fashionable queen,which goes against the type of her character.You do not expect a social activist to be dressed the way Julia Robert dresses; otherwise it would give a very common place appearance,she does not standout in order to make her stand out,but you have to give a certain
unique attributes and the looks that count. 

Thus an appearance does matter.
What kind of look you give to a particular character; that also contributes towards making of a character.


Background :

characterization

Characters are also determined by their accents,dialects, their vocabulary, the kind of grammar they speak.
When we are talking about accents and dialogues and how they contribute towards making a character; there is movie named Possession.

Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart.

She is a Ph.D. Scholar and he is a research associate and they are doing research on certain 18th century poets; their romance runs parallel with those two characters they are working on.

So, their dialects and their accents differ from the way the couple in the earlier generation behaved and spoke, when the younger generation is shown to be more vernacular in its speech, whereas the previous generation is more formal and that is what gives out the difference between the two.


Internal and External Actions :

Characterization

The characters are often determined by action;
external action as well as internal action.Conflict could be external.

In One flew over the cuckoo’s nest,that is rebelling against a conformist society, so that is external rebellion.

Internal rebellion or conflict, we also saw in films like Taxi Driver, so is character.

Schwarzenegger, that would be extremely
in congruous.when you go for Schwarzenegger movie including the recent Expendables and
also the most recent ones.So, he does not disappoint.He will disappoint when he start having internal dialogue or become existentialist hero, so he is no Godardian-hero. 

We are also talking in other words
about a star's image; so a star image also contributes towards the action he performs.I am not saying action hero.it is how he acts on screen, so doing what comes naturally to the character.

Internal action? Think of Antony Perkins from
Psycho, Anthony Hopkins,the other Anthony in the Silence of the lambs,plenty of internal action.

In Psycho there are clues like dark and white lights spilts in antony to shoe the split personality and a huge bird above him indicates that he is the predator.These are early and guessing clues of what the character is all about.



Internal action,
 ‘are you talking to me’, Robert Deniro talking to himself,having lot of action but much of it is also
mental process;you will find that there very little violence on screen except in the climax where he goes on rampage killing everyone in that brothel.

Otherwise, you do not find
any physical violence in the movie, much of the violence comes through the characters' body
language, the music,the lights ,the interplay of light and darkness.


Harvey Keitel again from another Martin Scorsese’s
movie ‘Mean Streets’, lot of internal
conflict and therefore representing internal action;

so he is a gangster at the same time,
he is torn between his loyalty towards his masters (the gangster masters), the gang lords
and his friends as well as his religion.

Therefore, we find him very often doing penance by running his fingers through burning candle, through
burning match strike, like self punishment.
This is something tells you lot of about internal action.

Name Of Character :

Characterization

Names of characters, the way film makers name characters; also tells you a lot about the characters.
Holly Golightly says a lot, she goes like this; she does not want to carry baggage of the past.

If you read the novel Breakfast at Tiffany’s, she has the past but she wants do away with that. So, names
are often evocative, names are often symbolic.

They can also be ironic. You can name a person,
a particular quality and the person’s characters could be exactly opposite for that but then that lends an ironic touch, a funny touch.

Names also connotes. You have done denotative
and connotative codes.

The Saint, Val Kilmer, of course it is based on comic book series but. Have you watch the Saint, Val Kilmer’s?

You must watch it. 
It is not such an old movie, may be of 1990s.

What is The Saint all about? Is he a saint?
He is a master thief and a master in disguise.

Hrithik Roshan’s character in ‘Dhoom’ was based on the saint; he is an expert thief,he works alone and he changes disguises in a flash of a second.

Name of the character, Daniel Day-Lewis for example,  is hawk eye,playing an Indian, a Native American, in the Last of the Mohicans, as hawk eye. And what does hawk eye mean?

One who has a penetrating insight as well as he never misses a shot.He is an expert in both these things, reading people as well as, never missing a shot.

Ben Stiller in Meet the Parents and the series and what is his name connotes in the movie.


Characterization In Filmmaking : In Depth 1 Characterization In Filmmaking : In Depth 1 Reviewed by Cinema Thoughts on February 05, 2019 Rating: 5

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