Typically, the lead characters in movies are ones who have good intentions, who have morality in them. But there are many movies whose lead characters do not necessarily have good intentions. They lack character, and are twisted characters, who mostly have motives which are against anybody’s good interests. Below are listed some such characters who have caught the audience’s attention for being the selfish, dark and terrifying characters that they are.
Tyler Durden (Fight Club)
Brad Pitt plays Tyler Durden in the movie, who is a soap salesman, and this is probably one of the most twisted characters you will ever see on screen. Durden has his own set of philosophies. With dialogues such as “It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything” and “The things you own end up owning you”, Durden makes for an interesting character. The movie had been a very controversial one upon its release, and majority of the people had shown dislike towards the movie upon its release. But the movie, over time, started gaining die hard fans, and just like The Narrator, Tyler got to us as well.
Daniel Plainview (There Will Be Blood)
Daniel Day Lewis plays Plainview, who is on a ruthless quest for wealth during Southern California’s oil boom of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Lewis went on to win, among many other awards, an Oscar for his portrayal of Daniel Plainview. The whole “I drink your milkshake” scene has become a classic scene overtime-showcasing effectively what a great actor Lewis is.
Verbal Kint (The Usual Suspects)
If you have seen Se7en, you know how Spacey is almost perfect to play an anti-hero. But here, Spacey is not your normal anti-hero. The movie is essentially about Spacey’s character-Verbal Kint, who is a small time con-man and is one of the two survivors of a massacre and fire on a ship docked at the Port Of Los Angeles. Spacey narrates to the interrogator about the events that led him and four others to the boat, and also of a mysterious mob boss known as Keyser Soze, who commissioned them this work. Keyser Soze is one of the most feared mobsters. The film ends on quotes stated by Verbal about Soze- “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” and “And like that, he’s gone.” Spacey went on to win an Oscar for his depiction of Kint, and the movie has overtime gained cult status. It is only after seeing the movie that you will realize the brilliance of Spacey’s character.
Travis Bickle (Taxi Driver)
Taxi Driver is considered to be one of the greatest movies of all time. Robert De Niro is one of the greatest actors and Martin Scorsese one of the greatest directors. The movie was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and is set in New York City after the Vietnam War. Travis Bickle is an insomniac ex-marine, who works the nightshift as a taxi driver. Unable to connect with anyone, he soon feels the urge for violent action, and does so by attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process. This is just a synopsis, but the movie is much more complex, having darker themes, and the “You talkin’ to me?” improv scene is still a timeless classic. This is probably Scorsese at his best, giving us a De Niro who probably plays one of the best antihero protagonists of all time. Taxi Driver will always remain a classic, heightening both Scorsese’s career, and 1970’s Hollywood.
Patrick Bateman (American Psycho)
Almost everybody loved Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman in Nolan’s trilogy. Not many, however, have seen his turn as a completely psychotic investment banker in American Psycho. Before the watching the movie, however, you should understand that the movie is a “black comedy”. Bateman’s life revolves around dining in expensive restaurants, and keeping up appearances, even though he hates everybody around him. However, Bateman has a dark side to him-he is secretly a serial killer. Bateman is threatened by anybody who is better than him, but at the same time feels that those who are not contributing should be killed-as illustrated in the scene where he first offers a beggar some money, but seconds after that, kills him.
In a scene where everyone is flaunting their business cards, Paul Allen’s card is a standout. One thing leads to another and soon Bateman kills Paul Allen, in a scene where you’ll be confused whether to laugh or feel disgusted. Soon enough, a detective, played by Willem Dafoe starts questioning Bateman. Soon enough Bateman starts falling apart. The movie also stars Reese Witherspoon as Bateman’s girlfriend, Jared Leto as Paul Allen and Chloe Sevigny as Jean. Having immensely quotable dialogues such as,” I need to return some videotapes”, the movie is both funny and horrific to watch. Bale here gives a performance which is really underappreciated, and could really be Oscar nomination worthy. The movie is terribly underrated and not a popular choice, but is definitely worth the time and money.
Alex (A Clockwork Orange)
Directed by Kubrick, A Clockwork Orange employs the use of disturbing and violent images to convey messages on psychiatry, youth gangs in a dystopian future Britain. Alex is the anti-hero here, and is played by Malcolm McDowell. He leads a small gang of thugs, whom he calls his “droogs”. The film is narrated by Alex, and chronicles his the horrific crime spree of his gang, his capture and his attempted rehabilitation. The movie was very controversial at it’s time of release, and was, as a matter of fact, withdrawn from release in the United Kingdom by Kubrick himself. The movie had been nominated for an Oscar. Although the movie was highly appreciated, many critics found the movie too violent and a mess, while others found it a masterpiece, and called it one of the best movies ever made.
Jordan Belfort (The Wolf Of Wall Street)
Directed by Scorsese, this movie is a black comedy drama, where the often Oscar-snubbed Leonardo DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort, who runs a firm that engages in securities fraud and corruption on Wall Street. The movie is based on a true story, and also stars Jonah Hill and Matthew McConaughey among many others. The movie has gained controversy on many grounds, including drug abuse, vulgarity and use of animals. Again, there were quite a few critics as well as audience members who felt that the movie tried to glorify debauchery.
The movie was nominated for five Oscars, and was a commercial success. DiCaprio here gives a performance of a lifetime-never ever will you have seen DiCaprio in such a light. The movie often has DiCaprio break the third wall. The rise and fall of his character is shown effectively as by the end of the movie, most of the people were convinced that Belfort too ambitious a person. The Wolf Of Wall Street is another movie which has a very strong anti-hero protagonist, and will surely be considered another masterpiece by Scorsese in the years to come.
If we missed your ‘anti-hero’, let us know in comments.