What’s in a movie character name? In some cases, it can be quite a lot. It’s a common practice for writers to assign character names that are allusions to previous works of film or literature, signalling some kind of connection between their work and the work they aspire to be like, and all in all being generally pretentious and pedantic. I can get into this if it’s done well and serves a respectable purpose. The character names I enjoy the most, though, are the ones that are more than anything a pleasant combination of sounds, with the actual sense of the name playing a secondary role of importance.
It’s kind of like song lyrics that make absolutely no logical sense but fit with the music so well that we cheerfully sing the hell out of them anyway, and they make some sort of emotional and musical sense to us; they please the ear. In the case of movies, very often the most interesting function of names assigned to various characters is the insight they provide into the screenwriter’s (or whoever invents a given name to a character) psyche and intentions. One of my favorite examples in recent years is the name of the Jason Statham character in the Expendables movies: Lee Christmas. Paired with the other names in the movie—Barney Ross, Yin Yang, Toll Road, Hale Caesar—you pretty much know exactly the type of movie you’re in for.
Here are 6 character names just from 2013 so far that are pretty much perfect for the movies they’re featured in.
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