Last night, the DH and I watched the movie, Parker, adapted from Flashfire, the 19th novel in the Parker series by Donald Westlake a/k/a Richard Stark, the 1993 Grand Master of Mystery Writers of America.
What struck me about the movie was that Parker, the hero, was far from perfect. For one thing, he dressed as a priest to commit a robbery at a state fair. That was far from heroic. He also managed to kill off more people than I could count.
Then, why did I root for him, other than the fact he was portrayed by Jason Statham, a guy not too difficult to look at?
Here are a few methods which I believe turned this far from perfect man into a hero:
- Though skewed, he did possess a moral code, which he expected others to also follow. When they didn't, he felt it his duty to right the wrong.
- The author cleverly turned Parker into a victim by having him shot and left for dead. Right then and there he became an underdog, and who doesn't root for the underdog?
- Though attracted to another woman, he remained faithful to his girlfriend.
- He couldn't bring himself to kill someone close to him, not only for his friend's sake, but also the friend's family's.
Can you think of any other ways to portray a not so perfect person as a hero, or maybe you'd like to offer another example from a book or movie? Hint: One clue is in my photo below.
Morgan Mandel writes mysteries, thrillers and
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