Thanks, everyone, for your observations and reflections about the characters in AQP. As I say, the five character archetype construct is a tool, not a rule. It works in a lot of movies, not all.
One of the strengths of this movie is one enters into the lives of Lee, Evelyn, Regan, and to a lesser degree Marcus as Protagonist figures. If you go through the script, you’ll note that each has their own solo scenes, each has their own arc.
I do think that Lee’s character fits the bill more than the others as the lead Protagonist — let’s just call him that — for purposes of discussion. As noted by Denise, he is at the forefront of trying to protect the family and does sacrifice himself to do that. Looking through the story through his perspective, one could, as someone suggested, think of the entire family as Attractors.
Perhaps a more appropriate use of these primary character archetypes is to think about how they can be used as masks. The idea is that any character can don the ‘mask’ of any archetype in any scene. So, for example, when Evelyn and Lee have one of the very few actual conversations in the script (56–57), Evelyn says this:
“Who are we?… if we can’t protect them. Who are we? You have to protect them.”
She grounds this in a ‘confession’ of sorts about how she could have carried Beau, so in this scene, it feels like she dons the Mentor mask.
I think I could make a pretty good argument that Regan dons the Trickster mask often. It’s pretty clear that Lee cannot quite absolve her of some form of culpability in Beau’s death. This scene with Marcus (35):
MARCUS (O.S.): Why didn’t you let her come with us?
LEE looks down at his son.
LEE (O.S.): Because… I need to keep her safe.
MARCUS (O.S.): … Is it because you blame her for what happened?
LEE freezes instantly… his heart stops. Finally he looks down at his son… in shock? In awe?
MARCUS: Because she blames herself…
LEE’s eyes blink and flutter as he tries to gain control of his thoughts…
LEE: No, I don’t bl — … It was no one’s fault.
Regan’s deafness creates some tricky situations for the family. For example, she’s the closest to Beau and could possibly have raced back and turned off the toy’s volume, but she didn’t hear the noise. But, of course, her being deaf is not an intentional thing, so in that scene and others where her deafness plays a role in the plot, that is at best an unintentional Trickster dynamic.
But she does leave the house when she’s supposed to be doing laundry, heading off on her own before eventually ending up with Marcus.
I think it’s a leap to think of Regan as a Trickster per se, but her role does create some tricky circumstances for the family.
Bottom line, the best way to look at the characters in this story is to set aside conventional notions of character archetypes — except the Monsters, of course, who are clearly Nemeses — and allow ourselves to enter into the experiences of each individual as their own Protagonist.