According to Britannica Encyclopædia, “flat characters are two-dimensional in that they are relatively uncomplicated and do not change throughout the course of a work. By contrast, round characters are complex and undergo development, sometimes sufficiently to surprise the reader” (Encyclopædia Britannica).
I watched the movie Kingsman: The Secret Service many times since it premiered, and each time was just as satisfying as the last. For the purpose of this blog post, I will choose Gary “Eggsy” Unwin, one of the protagonists from the film to discuss.
Eggsy—I would argue—is the quintessential definition of a round character. We the audience are introduced to his back-story via flashback and through watching the character interact with his family and friends. We see that he has experienced quite a difficult upbringing. His father died when he was a child, and his mother remarried an abusive gangster who often beats both Eggsy and his mother. We learn that he and his family are poor and living in council estate housing, which is comparable to the “projects” in America.
All of this sets Eggsy up to be the type of character who is least likely to succeed in life. However, over the course of the film, the audience witnesses his transformation from rough and tumble street kid, to suave superspy. Eggsy is a character who has a well grounded world—his mother, baby sister, and childhood friends; motivations—wanting to provide a safer and better life for his family; and a well rounded story arch—he goes from having no future and no prospects, to literally saving the world, and providing a home for his family. There is not a moment in the film where Eggsy feels like a cardboard, static character. The Eggsy from the beginning of Kingsman is dramatically different from the Eggsy at the end of the film.
Also, if you haven’t seen the movie, there’s an adorable pug in it and he absolutely steals the show.