A Streetcar named Desire and Kung Fu Panda
Recently I watched (for the first time) A Streetcar named Desire. In authentic Tennessee Williams' style, it ended as I expected. Love the drama. Not a big fan of the ending.
And yet, the beauty and tragedy is such that I can't help loving the story and the characters.
A good friend of mine named Mary who is also a gifted writer shared with me a while back a new perspective of protagonist. I have always thought of the protagonist as the main character. But Mary introduced me to a different definition of protagonist. This is the person in the book or movie (or play) who changes or grows the most. Streetcar is intriguing to me because there is a galaxy of emotion and tension between Blanche and Stanley. Stella, by comparison, seems almost to be a minor character. And yet, who changes the most or demonstrates the most growth in the play? It is Stella. Since we are redefining things, let us say that the antagonist is the one who contrasts to that antagonist, but never the less, is the catalyst for the growth. And who encourages that growth in Stella? I think her sister Blanche does. Blanche and Stanley pretty much are consistent throughout the time.
As is Po in Kung Fu Panda, another movie I watched last weekend. In the beginning and end, Po is the same lovable, good-natured, jolly, fat guy. So, he isn't the protagonist. However, his Sifu does demonstrate a growth of his character. Whereas in the beginning he is somber and controlling (not at peace), by the end his is the epitome of peacefulness. He has had to change his approach as the Kung Fu master because of the imminent danger and a dragon warrior choice which was beyond his control. So, he learns to find peace with less control and to motivate his warrior with one of the best motivators I know. Food. The antagonist (according to my new definition)? Po.
The only thing missing was the Sifu yelling up the stairs "STELLA!!"
Hmm. I may be getting things a bit mixed up.
Great entertainment. And time well spent with both movies.