MBTI: Where to Spot Your Type in Film- Guardians (SJ)
As mentioned in an article I just wrote, ESTPs and ISTPs are overly presented in fiction. It’s only right, really. They use their guns and their quick thinking to make the most “explosive” (boooo) action movies to date. But what about the other types? What roles do they play? They’re all over the place and you’ve always seen them; stereotyped characters are mostly the stereotypes in type theory.
You’ll see what I mean.
ESFJ- The Dutiful Wife or Nagging Mother.
In Dramas/Thrillers, the ESFJ is used to stand by her man through whatever problems he’s having, be it accusations of rape or the entire corrupt police force coming down on his head after he did the right thing. Unfortunately, she may become a victim in the process of the story, getting hurt by her husband’s enemies or through her husband himself, possibly by infidelity on his part.
She may take part in the action or more dramatic moments of the story but often times, it’s just reaction to show how far the main character has fallen.
Wife: “How could you do this to me, Bob?! HOW?! To ME! HOW! AAAAAAAGGHHH”
Bob: “I’m…I’m sorry I-
Wife: No! (leaves room)
Now the main character realizes he has hit rock bottom and the Dutiful Wife is what helps transpire change in him.
Next is the Nagging Mother.
In Dramas/Comedies, the ESFJ is the mom that Katherine Heigl was born of, nagging her daughter loudly to the dismay of her husband about why her beautiful successful daughter isn’t married with child at 32. “Oy vey with the indapendence! When ahr you gonna find yaself a nice mayn??“
ESTJ- The Over-expecting Dad or the Battle-Hardened Colonel.
Notice the part where the son doesn’t want the dad’s life.
In Comedies and Dramas, this is the rigid dad that wants his kid to act more mainstream or for his kid to go to the same school he did. The Ideal parent that “just doesn’t understand.” He’s an antagonist in his own right as he’s the one that pressures his kid to “grow up” which will often lead to the teenager doing something that sets the story in motion.
He may be told off by the end of the film or just see that what the kid was doing all along wasn’t that bad.
Here is the Battle-Hardened Colonel.
In Action, he’s the commanding officer that tries to make life and death decisions from the control room where everyone is eagerly passing important documents to each other in the background as the ESTP or ISTP tries to figure out how to diffuse the nuclear bomb.
At some point, he’ll decided enough is enough and they’re going to make a decision the hero is entirely against and thank God the decision isn’t gone through with because it probably would have killed everybody. He makes decisions across the other side of the globe which is a testament to his power and his blinding arrogance.
ISFJ- The Reliable Secretary or the Mouse that turns into a Lion.
Either or these roles can be in any type of film as any type of film can need either of these roles. He/She can be the glasses wearing assistant that walks two steps behind the boss as he dictates what orders should be given out, passing him vital pieces of information as he goes from room to room, barking orders at people. The Reliable Secretary plays a crucial yet thankless role in the film.
She’s much like the Dutiful Wife but her relationship to her boss usually isn’t a romantic one but can be. If this is the case, her role may be significantly expanded upon if it’s a serious thing. If it’s a fling, it may just be to show how cool the boss is, if the boss has a wife then it’s to make him look like a real turd.
And here’s the Mouse that turned into a Lion.
The Mouse that turns into a Lion is the role you see when the changes a character has to go through end up making them a seemingly completely different person by the film’s end. Through whatever tragedy/conflict may have occurred throughout the film, they have come out the other side stronger and less timid, now nearly unrecognizable.
At the beginning, you may have wanted to grab them by their shoulders and tell them to grow some balls, but now they’re the ones doing the grabbing and shaking. Not balls, but shoulders.
ISTJ- The Quiet Soldier, Stern Father.
In Drama, the Stern Father is a role of high importance to the main character. Much like the Over Expecting Dad but much less involved. Unless they’re involved to a violent degree in which case they’re too involved for no reason and become abusive.
Through the sternness, neglect or abuse they suffer at the hands of the (step)father, the protagonist can move forward on their idea to escape to someplace better or just make a necessary change they’ve needed to make but have been to scared.
Once the father has done more than enough damage or at the very least, harshly motivated them (possibly unintentional), the ISFJ’s mouse can now turn into a lion, escaping the clutches of depression, or all the pressure and moves on to…somewhere better.
And lastly, the Quiet Soldier.
The Quiet Soldier on the other hand can play a supporting role, extra, lead, any one of those and more. Their strength lies in their unwavering loyalty to whatever cause they serve. They’re the guys sent in with the protagonists with the mission of following the orders of the ISTP or ESTP. If the Quiet Soldier is on the villain’s side, he’s simply a henchman.
If you’ve got the Quiet Soldier playing the lead, his steadfast demeanor in the face of certain demise will prove to be the constant that the volatile villain can’t understand and thus, cannot defeat. The ISTJ in film can be a lesson in the negatives of blind loyalty or the positives of standing your ground.
Compare to the ISTP’s Lone Wolf, who may have the same profession as the Quiet Soldier but is just as empty for their own, personal reasons rather than ISTJ’s unquestioning loyalty that may cause them to do more harm than good.