|Immediate friends--which is also believable|
A difficulty that all narrative writers encounter is needing a character to do something at a certain moment in the story. If the thing-that-needs-to-be-done is not within the character's character, the thing-that-needs-to-be-done will ring false. Speaking as an editor, this entails informing the writer, "The action seems a tad contrived." Speaking as a writer, this entails gnashing of teeth as one laboriously works backwards to alter the character to fit the requirements.
The best outcome is when character and thing-that-needs-to-be-done mesh so smoothly, they seem inevitable--and the writer can brag, "Oh, yes, I always intended that to work!"
Die Hard and Topsy-Turvy both have characters that act exactly as they have been created to act. So--*spoilers*--when Gruber doesn't immediately shoot McClane at the end of the first movie (no, not the second), the non-shooting is not only a useful plot point, it is also entirely within Gruber's character. His reason for pausing isn't simply because he wishes--as Booth would say--to deliver his "rambling psycho-speech." The man is arrogant, not stupid. Neither is he the sort of man to act without considering all possibilities. He is wary of McClane, unsure what he will do next: maybe the guy has rigged himself to explode: who knows?! He has every reason to be wary based on McClane's (characteristic) behavior throughout the film. The confrontation is utterly natural.
|The remarkable Shirley Henderson|
One of the finest examples supports Christopher Hibbert's analysis of Gilbert and Sullivan. He points out that although Gilbert was known as an in-one's-face director, Sullivan could be equally demanding: he just went about his demands differently. But both men were perfectionists and both pushed performers to meet their exacting criteria. Jim Broadbent and Allan Corduner capture the main characters' styles: Gilbert's loud, boisterous, rude, occasionally kind, larger-than-life persona (Broadbent) alongside Sullivan's more refined, soft-spoken, yet sardonic professionalism (Corduner).
Nobody mugs at the camera--with the one exception of Jim Broadbent in one shot. And he's Jim Broadbent, so he's allowed.
|The delightful Jim Broadbent|