In the movie Maanagaram (2017), most of the main characters don't have names.

Is there a name for this genre of movies in which the main characters don't have names?

  • 31
    This seems like an aesthetic choice that could be made totally independently of the film's genre. Any one of an action/horror/comedy/drama/etc. could choose to leave the main characters unnamed. Knowing a film's genre tells you something about the plot, themes, pacing, and style - knowing that the characters have no names tells you nothing. Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 15:32
  • 3
    All Is Lost would fall into the same category. The only character in the movie has no name - yet nothing else about it is vaguely similar...
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 15:41
  • 1
    See also: Fight Club. Different genre, same nameless-protagonist concept.
    – Lindsey D
    Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 17:37
  • 10
    I am Jack's inability to call people by their names.
    – user9311
    Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 17:42
  • 7
    I think you are looking for a term, not a genre?
    – Mikey
    Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 21:44

1 Answer 1


As Nuclear noted in the comments, the idea of never naming your main character(s) is more of an aesthetic choice - a detail. The best term to use, I think, would be to call it a trope. In fact, TV Tropes calls this the "No Name Given" trope.

(Standard disclaimer regarding people having lost hours of their lives to the TV Tropes website. It's like the Bermuda Triangle of the internet.)

There's no genre name for this, because it isn't really a genre. Mirriam-Webster defines genre thusly:

Definition of genre

1: a category of artistic, musical, or literary composition characterized by a particular style, form, or content

2: kind, sort

3: painting that depicts scenes or events from everyday life usually realistically

Of which, the first definition is what applies to movies. So, a genre is a category of film; it describes, in broad strokes, the general atmosphere, emotional expectations and plot progression one can expect when watching the film. It doesn't really describe specific details (or lack thereof) in the film.

For example: Horror. If you're going to watch a horror film, you can expect it to be scary. You can expect it to be dark and possibly gory, generally unsuitable for children. However, you don't necessarily know exactly what the monster/killer/whatever will be. (Unless it's a sequel to a long running franchise, or the name of the movie somehow gives it away, but these things are outside the scope of "genre.") You can't tell what the characters' names will be based on the genre.

  • 3
    ...and finally back from tv tropes. Every f@#kin time... Commented Apr 11, 2017 at 14:13

You must log in to answer this question.

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