Reading Response – Kawin

The article creates categories for films: Narrative, nonfiction, animated, and avant-garde. I don’t like these categories because there doesn’t seem to be anything stringing them together. I nonfiction film can also be narrative, animated, and avant-garde. So in my opinion, it is not a good dichotomy. A good dichotomy might say animated and non animated. Those categories make sense together.

The article describes the movie The Verdict (1982). The article implies that this lawyer is unlikeable by his traits and characteristics, and is only identified with by the audience because he is played by a sexy actor, Paul Newman. I don’t think that a good actor or a well liked actor would make characters identify with a character who has unlikeable characteristics.

The character he plays is a “seedy, unreliable, and alcoholic lawyer in the full momentum of professional decline.” But he had to have had some likable characteristics for people to enjoy the movie. I haven’t seen the movie, but I know that a seedy, unreliable alcoholic lawyer in professional decline can still have courage, skill, and humor. He can face or have faced injustices that put us on his side, or be in danger. He can be obsessed and perhaps loved by his friends and family. Those are all qualities that will make an audience love a character, even if on the surface the character isn’t “likable”.

Think of Charles Dickens’ character Ebenezer Scrooge, form A Christmas Carol. Ebenezer, unlike the lawyer in The Verdict, doesn’t have the benefit of  a big star playing his character, because he is a character in a book. But it’s one of the most loved books of all time, despite Ebenezer being a miserly, cruel, old man who hates Christmas.