THE NECESSARY CONNECTION
For audience members to care about the movie being presented to them there must be an EMOTIONAL CONNECTION between them and the protagonist. If the audience doesn’t make that emotional connection they won’t care whether or not that protagonist wins or loses – they won’t care about the story.
It is the writer’s job to create his protagonist so that the audience can’t help but make that connection. There are several techniques that will make the audience form that connection.
One is to have the protagonist experience irritating or frustrating events that audience members can easily relate to. Even if the protagonist is a serial killer, by the time you’ve finished giving him a parking ticket, made him lose his cell phone, got him stuck in the rain, and killed off his prized rose bushes, the audience will begin to emotionally connect with him because you’ve made him human, just like us, even if later he does enjoy the occasional torture session with his after dinner wine and cheese plate.
And yet another technique is to have the character experience undeserved misfortune, brutality, or loss. There’s not a person on the planet that hasn’t experienced those kinds of events. Hence the emotional connection when those audience members see the protagonist on the receiving end of that kind of injustice.
Then there’s the “noble soul” approach… that character that does the right thing despite the personal risk. He or she is the kind of person that in our heart of hearts we would emulate… if only we could.