Friday, July 11, 2014

What's In The Name?


What was the last movie you watched?

Can you recollect the lead character's name? The hero, the heroine or the villain. Chances are, as hard as you may try, you will not be able to remember the name of the characters. 

I had never given any thought about name of the characters until I watched 12 Angry Men, a film that tells the story of a jury made up of 12 men as they deliberate the guilt or acquittal of a defendant. One of the alibis provided by the defendant is that he had been out watching a movie when the crime was committed. But when questioned, he is not able to recall the names of the characters. When this point is discussed, Henry Fonda, one of the jurors, asks other members if they remembered the names of the characters in movies they watched last. Guess what, no one is able to recall the names! 

Though it is not the absolute truth. For example, I remember Guna or Virumandi, or say Veera, Muthu or Basha. I also remember some villain's name. Gabbar Singh from Sholay or Mugambo from Mr. India. Interestingly, I am not sure if I remember Anil Kapoor or Sridevi's characters' name. But then I can never forget that Hema Malini in Sholay was Basanti. These are probably exceptions! 

But in general, why is it that the names of the characters are forgotten so easily? Are the names of the character not an important element? Why is it that some character names get etched in our memories while others don't even leave a scratch mark in our "hard drives"? Well it maybe a factor of how our nervous system is hard wired. 

Which movie characters' name do you remember? Mention it in the comments. 

1 comment:

sakthi vel said...

It is because for our brain's code ,name is a very new thing,given to the fact that language itself is very young in the evolutionary history. That's why we remember the traits of stranger's 'natural' rather than his 'artificial' name.

For that case i remember no villan names but The joker ,Bane,Doctor X(Dr.x)
or you tell me the villain name your 'film favori' (pannaiya....) ....i mean the daughter's name.yes we don't remember ,and no problem if we remember this fact.

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