So, I have come to a realisation, and something has reached a point of solace in my mind that has, for a long time, been up in the air. I realised this when reading a blogger response to Red Dog – the blogger claimed that it had too many stererotyped characters (the outback okker, etc.) which detracted from the overall scenescape of the film.
Now this kind of thing I find objectionable. In a film, it is impossible to give every single character (particularly if there is a periphery, which in most cases, there is) an in depth character development. Auxiliary (and lesser) characters will inevitably be drawn as stererotypes, almost as caricatures, because what other choice is there? There is often no time or opportunity to explore a template extra beyond surface value.
And the thing that we all know about stereotpyical creations is that they do actually exist. There is method behind the madness. There is substance there, reality. I realised this particularly when I though about Red Dog – I have met vulgar, aggressive, seemingly heartless drunks with little intellect. They do exist. And when one meets them , in passing – which is how the spectator (and, by assumption, the lead character/s) does meet them – nothing much is revealed beyond this surface personality. Which is fine, because often, in what we see of people in the outback, they don’t have anything beyond that. As passersby, we often only see that one level of personality. In the cinema, it’s the same deal.