-4

I think karma plays an important role in any script and it will attract more viewers/audience. As an example of karma in a lot of stories the good guy that beats the villan and gets the girl and the bad guys who learn their lessons one way or another in the end.

Even by looking at some of the more deeper screenplays we can find the traces of karma. I think it's mainly because the audience would like to see some extent of justice or otherwise they would be annoyed and in the movies the only justice is some sort of karma.

As I searched online I couldn't find anything to support or reject this idea, so I'm not sure about couple of things:

  • Is the concept of karma in movies (or any story in general) a valid idea?
  • If yes, is it intentional or is it inherently in the nature of stories?
  • What are some of the good examples that don't utilize this concept and how successful are those movies?

Edit:

By karma I don't necessarily mean a good ending. I mean the act of receiving the consequences based on your decision, these consequences may very well be horrible and not happy.

P.S.: I am aware that this question is valid for any set of narration or story but I'm focused and interested about the scope of movies.
Thanks in advance for any links to proper sources or valid arguments and examples.

  • plot-explanation tag is not suitable one for this question. Please use tags wisely. – A J Mar 24 '17 at 11:01
  • 1
    Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. Also, many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. – Paulie_D Mar 24 '17 at 11:47
  • I edited the question and don't see the logic behind a downvote as this is a legitimate question. – Amen Mar 24 '17 at 11:48
  • What do you mean with "Is the concept of karma (...) a valid idea"? What would be an invalid idea? What validates it? – The Raven Queen Mar 24 '17 at 13:03
  • @TheRavenQueen I mean is my theory correct and almost all the stories incorporate this concept (whether or not intentional; which is my next question)? – Amen Mar 24 '17 at 13:29
4

Starting with your definition of Karma or Justice:

the good guy that beats the villan and gets the girl and the bad guys who learn their lessons one way or another in the end

And your first questions:

  • Is the concept of karma in movies (or any story in general) a valid idea?

  • If yes, is it intentional or is it inherently in the nature of stories?

Your concept of Karma to me sounds like the Happy Ending trope, where

stories just end happily, with the villain defeated (or the basic problem resolved) and the heroes triumphant.

This is one of the most common tropes ever in cinematic history, and it is intentional. I claim its intentional, because there are movies (albeit rare) that have no such ending (see Downer and Bitterweet endings), which brings us to your last question.

  • What are some of the good examples that don't utilize this concept and how successful are those movies?

There are a few I can think of, mostly because my favorite characters die in the end. Careful, major spoilers for movies ahead.

Dog Day Afternoon, American Beauty, American History X, Rogue One, Donnie Darko, Hachinko, Marley & Me, Fellowship of the Ring, Requiem for a Dream, La vita รจ bella

All of these movies are very successful, and some are even considered landmarks in cinema history. I would say that part of that success is due to the not so happy ending, which (usually) makes things more realistic and makes the viewers connect with the characters.


Edit: Based on your recent edits, I guess you mean fairness and justice, as opposed to happy endings. While I don't have reliable sources to answer you, I can give you some counter examples of movies where people were wrongfully rewarded. For example,

Hunger Games 4 - Primrose (little young nurse, a very lawful good character), dies in an attack by her own faction. American History X - Danny (became a white supremacist since his brother went to jail, but turned alright after he came back) gets killed by race gang wars. Don't Breathe - Alex (reluctant thief) dies while trying to protect Rocky (who was stealing to protect her baby girl)

| improve this answer | |
  • Karma is not equal to happy ending. take Requiem for a Dream as an example that you definitely can't find anything happy at the end but the characters received the penalty (karma, as they did something harmful) for using drugs in the end. – Amen Mar 24 '17 at 11:41
  • I get what you mean, but that goes against your definition. bad guys who learn their lessons, neither the drug lords got punished, nor the main characters learned their lessons (the girl goes home quite happy hugging the money she just earned). You mean simply justice, instead of Karma, maybe? – BlueMoon93 Mar 24 '17 at 11:44
  • I edited the question. – Amen Mar 24 '17 at 11:45
  • that was an example not the definition – Amen Mar 24 '17 at 11:46
  • Drug use is good karma – Stefan Reich Feb 4 '18 at 13:49

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .