I have never made a Favourite Heroes list before but because of, well, my number 1 spot, I had decided very early in 2014 to make this list. The only problem was that I usually always prefer villains to heroes and I thought I wouldn't get enough characters to make a list out of. However, I was wrong and in fact, I had to leave out quite a few in my heroes list. There's just something about the kind of characters of 2014 films with their different types of heroism that is genuinely inspiring.
Father James in Calvary
He is the good priest who has to pay the price for a bad, bad world. James' heroism comes through not only because nearly everyone else around him is fucked up in their own way but also due to the fact that he too has a dark side within him and he has to come to terms with that. The name of the film alludes to Jesus Christ's sacrifice for the sins of the human race and Father James, in a much smaller yet significant way, also does that.
LGSM and the Miners in Pride
Pride is the kind of movie that fills one with infinite hope because we see that there *are* really good, solid people in this world no matter from however small a place they come from. Both the LGSM and the miners fight for their right to be heard and accepted and their mutual love, respect and support for each other wins at the end. Also the fact that all of this actually happened makes it even better.
Emmett in The Lego Movie
The Lego Movie, among many things, is a very clever deconstruction of the "chosen one" trope and so of course the "Special" had to be here. The Special is basically the most ordinary person one can find but the film shows how even someone as apparently unimaginative and unremarkable as Emmett can become the hero of the story and become special once he believes in himself.
Rita Vratasky aka Full Metal Bitch in Edge of Tomorrow
She's a total fucking badass who outshines Tom Cruise in his own action movie. Need I say more?
John Wick in John Wick
Oh he's just soooo cool! I love a good revenge flick, especially those with the Russian mafia and world class assassins. Also, as scared as I am of dogs, taking out a whole bunch of scary guys in retaliation for killing his puppy, all while wearing a well-tailored suit is like the height of chivalry and badassery.
Rani in Queen
Queen is the story of an Indian woman's emancipation and how traveling opens up not just her world but her mind too. On purely realistic levels, Rani is the most inspirational person on this list for me because I get where she was coming from and I love where she and the film goes in her journey of self-discovery. I mean, the scene where she saves her bag from the thief was the moment she becomes this person for me because I never expected that but that is exactly what makes it so liberating and awesome.
The Guardians in Guardians of the Galaxy
These bunch of a-holes, consisting of a hot thief, a green assassin, a crazy muscle guy, a talking raccoon and a walking tree save the whole galaxy through the power of their camaraderie. As rude and sarcastic as they are, the fact their friendship saves the day is all kinds of adorable and heartwarming.
Hiccup and Toothless in How to Train Your Dragon 2
While the first film was about the formation of this unlikely partnership, the second one shows the true heroes both Hiccup and Toothless are. They become the alphas of their own packs through their inherent goodness and courage and trust in one another.
Sandra Bya in Two Days, One Night
I can't tell you how much Sandra's small victory meant to me when I watched the movie. It reminded me of something I had done myself a while back which mostly only pertained to me but it was something that changed my life. Compared to some of the other characters in this list, what Sandra does seems absurd and insignificant but there is a true heroism in it. I love stories about everyday heroes and Sandra, who does the frankly daunting task of convincing her fellow workers to give up their bonus for her job while she's battling depression, is definitely one such person.
Steve Rogers in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Curtis in Snowpiercer
I saw Winter Soldier and Snowpiercer within a short while of each other and I knew then that no other character last year can beat both these Chris Evans' roles. And no, I couldn't choose between the two. Both of them are different but very powerful heroes in their own way. Steve is like the best person ever and he has to face the corrupt world he has woken up to and figure out how to still stick with his ideals in it. Curtis, on the other hand, is a man with a dark past and he reminds me of a Greek hero because he is so brave and so tragic.
And now we come to the villains. We've got some pretty memorable ones in 2014, proving yet again why it's such a brilliant film year (I'm just going to keep harping on about this, soz).
Mercedes in 22 Jump Street
Life lesson: college girls can be evil masterminds. Plus, it was hilarious that even she couldn't escape the awkwardness of that age.
Kim Jong-un in The Interview
Do I really have to explain this one? Props to Randall Park for having the balls to play this role. I liked that as funny and pathetic as he was, there were proper moments of despotic madness there.
Koba in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Rise of the Planet of the Apes set up the stage for the horrifying-looking Koba and he fully delivered in Dawn. Through him, we see how destructive greed, anger and jealousy are, in humans or in apes. He is manipulative and powerful and shows what a true tyrant can do.
Michel in Stranger by the Lake
On one hand, he is a cold-blooded killer, and on the other, he's a sex god who looks glorious naked (he *just* missed out in my Sexiest Characters list that I'm going to post tomorrow). I'm as conflicted as poor Franck :(
Louis Bloom in Nightcrawler
Like the coyote from which Jake Gyllenhaal drew inspiration for this role, Bloom is a brutal scavenger. He's also hilarious. The only reason he's not higher on the list is because I feel that in the movie, the society is as bad a villain as Bloom since we not only let people like him exist but also prosper.
Minister Mason in Snowpiercer
The worst kind of bureaucrat, Tilda Swinton based this role on "a complete smash cut of all the monstrous, maniacal, political clowns." Of course, she *is* funny but she is also a symbol of oppression and intolerance.
The Babadook in The Babadook
Speaking of symbols, the Babadook stands as much for the parental anxiety and guilt about sometimes hating your child as it does for all the unseen things that go bump in the night. Plus, I am never going to unhear its frightening voice.
David in The Guest
I'm still not over what a total psycho he turned out to be. Like Emmett earlier, he completely upends our ideas about him. We seem to be okay with him hurting the "bad" guys but once we see his utter indifference towards killing however many people, we are shocked. The hot hero turns out to be the brainwashed villain and it's perfectly awesome.
Terence Fletcher in Whiplash
In many ways, he's the scariest character on this list simply because people like him definitely exist. Yes, he has a philosophy behind his methods and whether you agree with it or not, there's no denying that he's terrifying motherfucker. I would never ever ever want to cross paths with someone like him.
Amy Dunne in Gone Girl
It almost looks like she's praying in this picture but she's actually holding a boxcutter with which she is going to murder someone moments later. BOOM! THAT'S WHY SHE'S NUMBER 1, BITCHES!
Amy Dunne is a cinematic villain for the ages. She's gorgeous, psychotic, proud, bitchy, manipulative, deliberate and she gets what she wants, whether it is getting her cheating husband framed for her own murder or the adoration of all the silly people who play into her hands. She defies, gloriously I might add, all the societal expectations put on her gender and she makes them turn on their heads for her own benefit. I lurrrve, loave, luff her!
Who were your top heroes and villains of last year?