It’s difficult for me to feel for characters in book or movie. Yes, there are exceptions when storyline and characterization connect characters to my heart, then I wonder about their feelings, thoughts, future and problems and empathize with them. Watching 10 seasons of “Friends” was one such moment when I was inextricably liked to all the characters and specially to Joey, Chandler and Monica. I was hard for me to realize that episodes are ending and I yearned to know what happens in their lives after their move. Characters of one of my most favourite book “To Kill a Mockingbird” also left that impression. Particularly Scout and Atticus. In general though, it’s hard to feel for fictitious persona.
Yet, when I realize that some persona are real or based on true story, attitude changes drastically. Somewhere somehow there is a block which separates facts from fiction and howmuchever drama I see on screen or on pages, my conscious reminds me to not to empathize with them. But when I come to know that people are, or were, real then suddenly I feel for them. A small affliction in real life is more moving then large melodrama in reel life.
Recently I watched Korean feature film “My Sassy Girl”. An amazing movie, I must say. Character of heroine haunted my mind long after movie was gone. There was a woman who was so lonely, so sad, so weak, yet so stubborn, so unorthodox, so obnoxious. That feeling was deepened when I came to know that extraordinary situation depicted in movie really happened to real people. Even though real or fictional characters are unrelated to me in all possible ways, it doesn’t equate my reaction to them. Somehow being real adds emphasis.
That has been exploited too, of course. One of my top favourite horror movie is “Blair Witch Project” because I saw this movie as documentary and reality exacerbated otherwise trivial horror tricks. Only later I realized that it was fake and part of production house publicity program.