Why do we like anti-heroes? They are not heroes. Their behavior is in contrast with the social norm. So why do we like them?
Anti-heroes have a worldview and attitudes, and live with their belief, and hence have an honorable character. The thief who steals only from the rich, the bully who punishes the guilty, the criminal who comes to the defense of his weak cellmate. Anti-heroes remind us that goodness is not dead; that in order to be good, one does not need to be extraterrestrial and unreachable.
The movie “The Whiskey Bandit” is the story of the famous Hungarian burglar Attila Ambrose. The 50-year-old Ambrose, now released from jail, has a normal life, and has been present on-set. He has said somewhere about the movie: “When I saw the scenes, I got a little scared, because when I robbed a bank, I wasn’t aggressive at all. In fact, at the beginning, I was too polite!”
People used to love Ambros. Perhaps because he was involved in thirty robberies, and yet no one ever got hurt. The robber would not hurt a soul. Perhaps people loved Ambros because he was a professional ice hockey champion despite having a difficult childhood. Perhaps because people have realized that he’s always had to fight for life, for being alive, and for enjoying life.
In a scene from the film, he becomes attracted to a girl and follows her to the metro station so he can talk to her. At the station, the girl asks Ambrose: “What do you want?”
Ambrose answers: “One million dollars and your phone number.”
The girl laughs and says: “If I see you again, I will give you my number.”
The train arrives, the girl gets in and rides away. Ambrose leaves the station and starts running for his life. When the train stops at the next station, Ambrose trying not to gasp for air, is standing in front of the window of the train.
No wonder we love this thief and this movie.