Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Character of the Week: Francis Dolarhyde
I just finished reading Red Dragon, so this week's character of the week is the Red Dragon himself, Francis Dolarhyde. He is portrayed by Tom Noonan in Manhunter and by Ralph Fiennes in Red Dragon. He is a serial killer who believes that he is disfigured and that he is becoming the Red Dragon from one of William Blake's paintings. He works at a film developing company and at the beginning of Red Dragon has already killed the Leeds and the Jacobi family. What I find interesting about this character is that he and the Dragon start at as one person, but when he falls for Reba, he sort of breaks away from the Dragon, who is the evil part of him and becomes two. He then hears to Dragon talking to him and telling him to do things, even after he goes to the Metropolitan Museum and eats the Blake painting.
I really like both Manhunter and Red Dragon, and I don't really know who I think made a better Dolarhyde. I think that Tom Doonan was a bit creepier, but Ralph Fiennes had more of the physical strength and also vulnerability that the character has in the book. I think that they were both great, but their approaches were just different. I honestly don't know why a handsome actor like Ralph Fiennes keeps getting cast as a bad guy, though. I guess its just because he's great at it...