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How effective is X-Men at presenting the flawed hero and the sympathetic villain through the characters Wolverine and Magneto?

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Introduction

English Media Coursework How effective is 'X-Men' at presenting the flawed hero and the sympathetic villain through the characters Wolverine and Magneto? Traditionally in the comic book genre, the characteristics of a hero and villain follow certain conventions, signifying their roles of good and evil. Bryan Singers 'X-Men' undertakes an alternative approach on this, his adaptation of the famous comic book story, shows us how unique X-men is to the typical comic book genre, especially in the way its heroes and villains are presented. Heroes are usually portrayed as strong, attractive characters full of goodness, whilst villains are the complete opposite and are ugly, evil, uncaring characters, who will stop at nothing to wreak havoc or get revenge. Hugh Jackman's take on Wolverine is an excellent example of representing a character with many flaws and Ian Mckellen's act as Magneto is a perfect view on a villain with a past and feelings. The scene where we first see Wolverine is set in an old, dirty looking bar, the lighting is dismal and the general mood of the surroundings is chaotic. There is a commotion and people are booing and cheering, the camera then views a cage and we notice a fight taking place, it looks like a contest. ...read more.

Middle

Xavier helps him not only to discover who he is, but also to give him a new meaning and start in life. All this gives Wolverine the motivation to fight alongside the 'X-Men' in an attempt to find the truth. Rogue however shares a different relationship with Wolverine and inspires him to protect and fight for her safety. They help each other to find a sense of belonging and meaning in their lives. Towards the end of the film there is a scene with Rogue and Wolverine, which fits the idea of a traditional hero. In this scene Wolverine shows true affection for Rogue and shows that he truly cares for her. A key camera angle in this scene is an overhead close-up view of Wolverine putting his hand on Rogues head in the hope that she will take his power to heal and then heal herself. This shows the audience Wolverine's sensitivity and fatherly love that Wolverine has for Rogue and willing to sacrifice his life for her and makes him look like the traditional hero putting others before himself. 'X-Men' is very effective at presenting flawed hero, as Wolverine has a mixed personality, he can be mean to people sometimes, but be the hero in a crisis. ...read more.

Conclusion

This possible scenario is hinted, when Magneto says to Xavier 'you know this plastic prison won't hold me forever. The war is still coming, Charles, and I intend to fight it. By any means necessary', this quote shows that Magneto thinks there could be a way of escaping. 'X-Men' is very effective in presenting a sympathetic villain by showing different sides to Magnetos character and giving him a dramatic past, which explains why he became a villain. X-Men is very successful at portraying Wolverine and Magneto as very complicated characters, as they both have different personalities and morals, however Wolverine's aggression could be considered to be one of a villains traits, he has learnt to have a level of control over it, whereas Magneto's hate for humans has turned him bitter and revengeful, overpowering him, therefore giving him the drive and determination to wreak havoc on humankind. Creating a sympathetic villain and flawed hero gives the characters more depth and background, making them more believable and interesting. Overall I think 'X-Men' has designed the characters well, as they have explored all aspects of what is needed to create an interesting character. Wolverine and Magneto show their own individuality, yet we still see that they both share good and evil qualities, giving the characters charisma and allows the audience to view them in different perspectives. KATHERINE SMITH 4 ...read more.

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