Saturday, June 27, 2009

Foil! It's Shiny.

When I watch a movie, I'm not always on the lookout for things like "Whoa, that's foreshadowing." But the other day, I was listening to music and thought "Whoa, that's a cool foil."

In the movie The Hunchback of Notre Dame (I'm talking Disney version today, because I'm in a minor Disney kick at the moment), Quasimodo is the lovable protagonist and Frollo is the cold hearted, corrupt villain. Generally, they're just complete opposites, but they don't spend the whole flick foiling each other. In fact, I didn't notice a foil until I listened to just two good songs that come back to back in the movie called "Heaven's Light" and "Hellfire." (For those unfamiliar with the movie -- I've known people familiar with the movie to deny the first song exists -- click here to listen.)

Both characters want Esmeralda. I'd call it love except Frollo's emotions seem to be circling lust and not getting much beyond that. Their desires foil each other during these scenes. Quasimodo says that loving Esmeralda is like experiencing heaven's light. Frollo says that Esmeralda has lit a fire in him that burns his flesh and is turning him to sin. While for the most part in the movie they are just protagonist and antagonist, in this moment they create an interesting contrast that heightens the emotions in respect to both characters.

This is possibly my favorite foil I've seen in a Disney movie.
(For interesting reading on foils, click here.)

Does you have a favorite literary or film foil? Do you use foils in your own work?

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