The other night I watched the movie Hancock. I love it! My curiosity had been piqued by someone's blog where they mentioned him and how they wondered how he'd become heroic, since he was depicted as decidedly unheroic. Plus, I usually like any movie with Will Smith in it. So I saw it, loved it. Especially the end. His true test of character showed in his sacrifice.
Then I watched the movie Wanted, with Jolie. I expected to like it. I kept hoping to really love it.
Didn't happen. And the sacrifice at the end? It did nothing for me.
So I've always been a big proponent of sacrifice in our novels. As part of the character arc and for emotional intensity.
But I learned something from these two movies.
Sacrifice means nothing if you don't care about what happens to the character.
From the beginning, we knew John Hancock was a jerk. Among other names. But through the eyes of the other hero (whose name escapes me) we realize Hancock is misunderstood. Sympathetic, even. And I wanted to root for him.
In Wanted, I had difficulty connecting to a protagonist, so when said protagonist does the Big sacrifice, I just didn't care that much.
It's a good lesson to remember for my plots.
What movies and/or books have impacted you because of their protag's sacrifice? And which ones fell flat?