We bring you the characters you want to hate, bust just have to love…
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET hits Irish cinemas this week. The film, directed by Martin Scorsese, stars Leonardo DiCaprio as the ruthless yet strangely engaging Jordan Belfort. We wanted to hate him, but ended up loving him, so we decided to take a look at some more of those character you can’t help but love.
Oh-Dae Su – OLDBOY
On paper, Oh-Dae Su is a bit of a madman; having been locked away for 15 years, he went on a murderous rampage to find out who imprisoned him, and why. Most of the henchmen he killed were surely just doing a job to feed their families, right? Well it’s hard to hate a man bent on furious revenge, and our sympathy lies firmly with the hammer wielding central character. Yes he’s dangerous, yes he’s angry, but wouldn’t you be after rotting in a cell for 15 years?
Hannibal Lecter – THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS
Doctor Lecter is a character who has fascinated audiences for many a year. Brilliantly and terrifyingly brought to life by Sir Anthony Hopkins, Lecter is an intelligent, cunning man who just happens to be a sociopathic, psychopathic serial killer. Even though he is clearly dangerous, his interactions with FBI Agent in training, Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) take on an air of fatherly concern as he plies her with clues about Buffalo Bill in order to find out more about her. Everything about Lecter screams danger but he is also brilliant and oddly caring towards Starling; of all the psychopaths on show in THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, he is the one we would trust, not just because he is behind bars.
Verbal Kint – THE USUAL SUSPECTS
If there is one thing Kevin Spacey is good at, it’s playing anti-heroes; go and watch HOUSE OF CARDS if you don’t believe us. In THE USUAL SUSPECTS, Spacey plays Verbal Kint, a con artist with cerebral palsy. Audience sympathy quickly goes to the weakest link in the gang of suspects, and it is not until the end of the film that Kint’s true nature and level of skill are revealed. Even then, even as the character reveals he has duped us all along, even as our rage levels should be rising, it is hard not to applaud the man who convinced us that he didn’t exist.
Severus Snape – HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS Pt 2
Severus Snape – beautifully played by Alan Rickman – is an imposing presence throughout the Harry Potter films, but it is only in the final film in the franchise that we truly understand the tortured soul beneath the sarcastic veneer. Hearts around the world melted as Snape’s true motivations were revealed, but even as he tortured, belittled and embarrassed Harry, it was hard to hate the character since it was clear there was a lot more going on underneath the surface. Perhaps, in fact, Snape is the true hero of the series. Too far?
Tyler Durden – FIGHT CLUB
Tyler Durden, one of Brad Pitt’s finest roles, is an anarchist and it seems he really does want to watch the world burn. There is more to Durden than meets the eye, however, he doesn’t want to destroy for the sake of destruction; he wants to destroy in order for the Narrator – and society as a whole – to rise from the ashes of this consumerist world, and realise the true value of life. Far less motivational speaker than he sounds, Durden only manages to destroy before he himself is destroyed, but even as he brings the world of the film crashing down around the Narrator, it is all too easy to fall in love with this seeming nihilist as he strives to make a change.
Honourable mentions to:
Dracula – DRACULA, Jack Sparrow – THE PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN: CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL, Lester Burnham – AMERICAN BEAUTY, Withnail – WITHNAIL & I, Travis Bickle – TAXI DRIVER and Lisbeth Salander – THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO.
Which anti-heroes do you find yourself rooting for? Let us know in the comments below.
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET is released in Irish cinemas on January 17th
Words: Brogen Hayes