I have decided to apply the narrative theory to the film â€˜Underworldâ€™ because this film contains creatures that come straight out of folk and fairy tales that Propp based a lot of his theory on.
Underworld was directed and co written by Len Wiseman. The Film is set in an unnamed city in the US, although all through the film there is a sense of Victorian England despite the modern props and scenery. This is because of the aristocratic style vampires and the pheasant like Lycanâ€™s. It has had a mixed reception from critics some saying â€œitâ€™s low budget, is matched only by its poor storyâ€ while others have named it â€œthe best piece of cinematography of this yearâ€. .
I personally thought it quite good enjoying the gothic atmosphere of the film.
Propp argued, â€œthat each important character was connected to a concept of actionâ€. He believed that you could group characters and actions under a set of labels. There are eight character roles which he called â€˜spheres of actionâ€™. Although it is important to remember that one character could occupy several roles during a film, as is the case in Underworld.
Selene (Kate Beckinsale) one of the vampire death dealers is the main protagonist of the film. She plays the role of the heroine although ironically, at points in the film plays the role of the princess who is the object of the villains schemes and the heroâ€™s reward.
In order to associate the film â€˜Underworldâ€˜ with â€˜Proppâ€™s Narrative Theoryâ€™ it seems only logical to observe the â€˜spheres of actionâ€™ in relation to the film.
The first sphere of action is â€˜the villainâ€™ which firstly seems to be Lucian (Michael Sheen) the Lycan leader. However as the story progresses it turns out that the vampire leader Viktor (Bill Nighy) is the true villain. Lucianâ€™s motive appears to be to usurp the vampireâ€™s aristocratic position, but his true motive was to stop the genocidal war on his people the Lycanâ€™s.