What should viewers expect from the hero of the film?

What audience should expect from the hero

Understanding the hero is the most important thing while you are watching a film. It is one of those factors that uplifts the quality of the film. A well-developed protagonist makes you invested in the film, moreover, strengthens the bond with the viewers. In this article, we are going to discuss what should viewers expect from their ideal hero.

The film is only as good as its hero is. Therefore, if the viewers want to engage with the movie,  they must feel some connection with the hero. It is obvious that if you are following someone’s journey, you ought to have a reason for ‘why you should follow him?’

So, let us discuss the elements that every viewer should seek in the hero.

4 elements that viewers should expect from the hero:

1. The Goal:

Following the hero who has no goal is the same as traveling on a train that has no destination. The protagonist’s goal tells the audience what he wants to achieve as well as encourages them to follow him on his journey.

For example, Frodo’s (from The Lord of the Rings) goal was to protect the ring from evil and destroy it. Similarly, Pi’s (From Life of Pie) goal was to survive in the ocean.

The audience will not invest their time watching a character that has no goal in life. As a result, they will leave the film halfway. Therefore, next time you watch any movie, focus on the goal of the protagonist. It will help you understand why you should follow him in the film.

2. History/Backstory:

The hero’s backstory is the core when it comes to strengthening the connection of the hero with the audience. A strong backstory of the protagonist can lead the audience to care for him.

The backstory often creates sympathy in the hearts of viewers for the hero. Sympathy builds an emotional connection between the hero and the viewer. This backstory can be childhood trauma, loss of a loved one, etc.

If the protagonist does not have any backstory, the viewer will not engage with him properly. And if the viewer is not engaging with the hero, he is not engaging with the story as well.

The most suitable example for this is Christopher Nolan’s ‘Tenet’. Critics praised the film for its amazing action sequences and outstanding visual effects. On the other hand, it also faced criticism for the poorly developed protagonist.

Related: How to watch a film for a better understanding?

3. The hero must be relatable:

Even if the hero has a goal and a strong backstory, he is just a machine if the viewers can not relate to him with themselves. There is a huge difference between an ideal hero and the perfect hero.

The perfect hero is just like a robot that does everything as per the program and never makes mistakes. Whereas the ideal hero is an imperfect human that has some flaws as well.

I am a huge fan of Captain America. However, if I have to choose between Captain America and Iron Man, I would choose Iron Man because I can relate that character to myself.

The viewers connect more efficiently with the character when it is similar to them. The character’s flaws make it more accessible and relatable. Therefore, every protagonist must have some flaws, so that, the audience would connect with him and the story.

4. Hero’s development:

Development refers to the progress made by the hero throughout the film.

The audience loves a dynamic character rather than a static one. Once the viewers start to relate to the hero with themselves, they will be excited to see how the hero accepts his flaws and overcome them. Character development engages the viewers from the beginning till the end.

The only hero that comes to my mind for good character development is Iron Man. If you recall the film Iron Man (2008), Iron Man aka Tony Stark was just a random stubborn billionaire. But as his life progressed, he overcomes his flaws and eventually sacrificed his life for the sake of humanity in Avengers Endgame (2019).

The viewers should expect these four elements from their hero. If the hero fulfills all these elements, he surely can win the hearts of millions of people. If you like this article on ‘what should the audience expect from their ideal protagonist’, let me know in the comment section. Your comments will motivate me to write more.  

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2 thoughts on “What should viewers expect from the hero of the film?”

  1. Tushar bhagwan tupkar

    Good blog Abhishek. I agree with all your points, however, I believe it all depends on how the actor plays the character.

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