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Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

How often (if ever) do you find yourself identifying/sympathizing with the villain on a TV show or movie?

Asked by Self_Consuming_Cannibal (4246 points ) February 5th, 2013

Which one(s) and why?

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10 Answers

lookingglassx3's avatar

Practically all the time! It’s been that way ever since I was young.

When I was studying Othello, I found myself sympathising with Iago. I knew that what he was doing was wrong (manipulating Othello’s mind so that he believed his wife was having an affair). But for some reason, I could understand why he was angry at Othello. He had been Othello’s friends for years, and yet Othello favoured Michael Cassio over him. Having been in loads of trio friendships in the past, and knowing full-well that three is a crowd, I found myself identifying with him. But I knew that he was taking his bitterness a step too far!

I also feel sorry for Monsieur Verdoux. He is the central character of the story, so it’s hard not to find yourself liking him, if only just a little. Yes, he marries rich widows and murders them – but when you realise his backstory (his invalid wife and young son, and how he got laid off from work despite his hard work and loyalty) you do begin to see he is not really evil, just desperate to support his beloved family.

The one I feel most sorry for is Claude Frollo. He does really terrible things but he does them because he believes that they will please God. Everything he does, even killing Esmeralda, he does to try and redeem himself to God for lusting after a woman.

Buttonstc's avatar

Not usually, but Dexter would be the notable exception :)

Michael Hall is such a good actor and the writing is so good on that show it would be difficult not to.

Besides, he only kills really bad guys :)

Coloma's avatar

I adore Mega MInd from the movie, since I discovered his cartoon personality is that of mine gone wrong. lol
The Joker from Batman is another.
What happens when clever and innovative brainiac types go wrong. haha

Leanne1986's avatar

I can sympathise with them quite a lot. One that really springs to mind was Charlize Theron’s portrayal of Aileen Wuornos in Monster.

I wouldn’t call them baddies as such but I feel real sympathy for both Javert in Les Miserables and the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera. Both charactors are at odds with the so called “goodies” (Javert is often disliked because he is trying to get ValJean back behind bars despite ValJean’s lifestyle change and the Phantom murders and imprisons to try and get the girl). Javert is similar to Claude Frollo (as mentioned above) because, where Frollo is battling with the expectations of his God, Javert is in the same situation with how he feels about upholding the law, there is no rom for negotiation as far as these guys are concerned.

Shippy's avatar

@Leanne1986 I so identify with your Aileen Wuornos comment. I think she had a terribly hard life and was certainly not a monster.Although she became more monstrous in behavior as time went on.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Wile E Coyote was my childhood hero. The only tattoo I ever considered getting was one of Wile E choking a dead roadrunner with the words ‘Finally Got the MFr’ framing the tat.

mazingerz88's avatar

I symphatize with the villain quite often. Especially when the supposed good guys are doing things that are so stupid. Example, some of the dumb victims of Jason and Michael Myers.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.

The dark side is where its at :P

I especially like the evil genius type villains as well. When the villain uses cunning and intellect to sow the seeds of destruction rather than brute force thats way cooler to me. The Joker, Dr Doom, and Darth Sidious

mazingerz88's avatar

@uberbatman Hannibal Lecter?

El_Cadejo's avatar

@mazingerz88 never really got into those movies to be honest. I liked Silence of the Lambs but the rest were meh. Hannibal is cool though. (then again pretty much any role played by Hopkins is pretty cool)

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