We just finished watching the movie Australia and I was so impressed with the character development. The villain in particular struck me as very well drawn.
Fletcher wasn’t trying to steal Lady Ashley’s land; he wanted to pay fair market value.
He didn’t want the land just because; It was a part of his heritage. He was a third generation rancher.
His hatred of Nullah stemmed from his inability to deal with his own weaknesses. Additionally, he had been raised to believe the half and half people were inferior.
He never came right out and threatened Lady Ashley. His comments were much more sinister and full of innuendo, such as noting the spear collection on the fireplace and saying “Oh, look. One is missing.” The missing one had been used to kill her husband so the intent was clear. Fletcher would either kill her too or implicate her in the murder instead. This makes his threats much more believable and scary.
His obvious love for Cathy is what puts him over the edge. I would not have expected him to truly care for his wife, but I believed it because he had me convinced he wasn’t completely evil. Then deciding the “creamy” had cursed him was brilliant and fitting in his character, as well as the cultural norms.