Tuesday, March 15, 2011

'The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising' - The Passive Hero

by Tristan Mahlow  

Hello everybody!
I am here to talk about another observation that has been bugging me for a while. Sometime ago I was watching 'The Seeker', which was beautifully shot, but oh so lacking in the story department. Thinking about the movie and why it fell so flat, the thing that annoyed me the most, was the protagonist.
Will is your typical Cookie-Cutter-Underdog-Hero, living with his five siblings in a small house, nobody at school takes notice of him - he is a loser. But suddenly it turns out he posses magical powers. What a surprise!
When Will gets attacked, he is saved by a group of ancient wizards protecting the world from evil. They tell him, that he is the seeker and has to find the six signs of the Light - yeah, it is that kind of story. So, before the villain finds these signs, Will starts looking for them. 

So, Will can not protect himself and depends on the help of some old wizards. Additionally, the only reason he starts looking for those symbols is to find them before the villain, not because he has some interest in them himself.
Will is The Passive Hero: he only reacts to the input from outside. The are no internal motivations at work here (and the subplot with his lost twin brother is merely a joke, right?!). I know, I know, the movie establishes from the beginning, that the Dark will rise and Evil will win - but in order to care a bit about that I need a hero who is involved in the story and not just reacting to the actions of the villain.

Note to myself: The Hero needs to need something! Only that way, the obstacles he has to overcome make us care for him. While the protagonist is actively pursuing his own goal(s), he acts - and not just reacts.

Have great day,
- Tristan

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