Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Importance of CHARACTER

Why is HArry Potter such a wild success?

Most commentators I have heard talk about the story, about the conflict, the archetypal battle between good and evil. ANd that is true. But I can't help but think that these books would be nowhere near as popular if they didn't have such good, REAL characters.

Can anyone help but laugh at the sibling rivalries and sibling put downs the WEasly's share? Did anyone else feel the jealousy Ron shows when Hermione goes to teh Yule Ball with Viktor, and doesn't know he's jealous? OR Harry's stumbling attempts at dating Cho, along with Cho's struggle with moving on from Cedric's death? As someone who was mercilessly bullied in school I understand fully why Snape can't let go of his loathing for James and Sirius. THese characters are definitely real.

Yes, a good enthralling story is important. But without characters a good story becomes meaningless. Without good characters we wouldn't really care after all. It strikes me that this is partly why I like the original 3 Star Wars movies better than Episodes 1 and 2 (have yet to see Revenge of the Sith). In those earlier years Lucas couldn't do as much with computers so the characters and the acting were more important. Now I think that the characters and acting are almost second thoughts, with the real stars being the computer animation. SOmehow I have trouble warming to a pile of pixels.

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