Free «Film Narrative» Essay Sample

A narrative essay uses tools such as transitions, flash-forwards, and flashbacks that often build to a climax. Therefore the focus of a narrative is the plot and when one is creating a narrative, the authors must determine their purpose, establish their point of view, consider their audience, organize the narrative, and use dialogue (Fraser 26). Hence a narrative is usually arranged chronologically and can be best described as a chain of events in cause-effect relationship occurring in space and time.  This paper will focus on four films namely; Brooklyn's Finest, 21 Grams, Takers, and the Other Guys.

Brooklyn's Finest

Antoine Fuqua, the man who gave Denzel Washington his Oscar in the brilliant dramatic bad cop action movie, training day, is back with yet another New York detective thriller. He still dwells on what has now become an easy bet for any New York crime story -bad cops and the drug dealers that rule Brooklyn. If you watch the trailer, you will not wait to watch the movie, and I was disappointed that Denzel didn't make a return. But that's not to say that the movie doesn't have heavyweight actors to carry it. It has plenty! It tells three different stories about cops and drug dealers in Brooklyn who are, again, as expected, linked in one way or another. We have Eddie (Richard Gere), an aged police officer who is seven days away from retirement but he has brambles in his live that he has resulted to taking alcohol and it seems to have the thought of shouting a bullet through his head.

He seems disturbed, and his solace is a prostitute with whom he falls in love despite walking in on her and a fellow officer. He is chosen to break in new recruits as seen in "Training Day" but only this time it's not at per with "Training Day" where Denzel does the same thing and this makes him to be too boring. Then we have another non-sense officer, Sal (Ethan Hawke), a detective used to bursting drug rings and the same time he is undercover cop but he has money trouble at home. He wants to move his family to a bigger and better home where his kids won't share bedrooms no more. Also his wife is about to give birth twins and she has a health concern because the house is filled with mould which is affecting her for she has asthma. This has him spiraling out of control. He starts stealing money the money they get at bursts and begin his own undercover investigations on a drug ring so that he can burst on his own and keep the accruing thousands of dollars so that he can life a better place for his family.

Eddie turns in his badge and visits Chantal (Shannon Kane) his regular hooker but to his disappointment she does not want to change her life by moving with him to Connecticut. On his way home, he sees a woman, (Sarah Thompson), who was reported missing and was being shoved into a van and he decided to follow the van to the Van Dyke housing projects. Meanwhile, Sal's latest raid on the complex is canceled and he decides to go to the location and rob the money and one of his team members, Detective Ronny Rosario (Brían F. O'Byrne) tries to stop him but fails.

Sal raids the apartment and thereafter kills three people. He does find their stockpile of cash but he is shot in the back and killed by a thug who saw him enter the building. Meanwhile, Eddie locates the sex-slave dungeon in the basement where he apprehends one of the men and is confronted by a second. Eddie tells the second man to get down, but the man threatens him. Eddie shoots the man in the chest, and a big fight ensues in which Eddie eventually chokes him to death with a zip tie. Tango gets his vengeance on Red, but he is mistaken for a gangster and is shot dead by Rosario and only after shooting Tango does Rosario realize he has shot another law officer. Rosario, still determined to stop Sal, is forced to continue his search for him and he later finds the body of Sal in the drug dealer's apartment. In the end it shows Eddie, having found the redemption by rescuing the three missing girls.

On the other end is Tango (Don Cheadle), an undercover narcotics officer who wants to rise through the ranks but won't abandon the hood, where he is known as the top gangster. He also has a bro (Wesley snipes) who just got out of jail and wants tango to keep him off jail. All these events come to a head at some point in the movie and you can expect a lot of blood and gunfire. This however is one bland and slow movie because the high points are few and far between. The acting is not believable and looked like it was being forced. Cheadle acting as a bad guy is real as finding a clean cop in Brooklyn. He forces the gangster swagger which Denzel did brilliantly and therefore it makes him not to be convincing at all. It was a shocker to see Snipes but although his role was short and lame. After all, in the entire movie kicks in towards the end and in conclusion therefore it is not I was expecting from such strong characters so the movie fails immensely.

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21 Grams

In '21 Grams', it is a movie directed by Alejandro Inarritu. The narrative tells the story of Christina Peck, Paul Rivers and Jack Jordan as their lives are all changed by a car crash that kills Christina's husband and two daughters. It looks at the relationship between plot and story, the relationship of the causes and effects it has on temporal relationships. The Story (or Fabula) is the set of all the events in a narrative. Therefore both the ones explicitly presented and that viewer infers. Whereas the Plot (or Syuzhet) is "everything visibly and audibly presents in the film before us and of course they overlap and yet also depart from each other in a number of respects. A diagram would therefore look like this in almost every movie therefore there will be events that we know of but do not see (for example sleeping, or going to the toilet), as well as sounds or other events that we as the audience see or hear that the characters do not, for example, we hear of Paul's Girlfriend Mary.

This causal event can be either in the form of a man-made disaster (such as someone setting off a bomb), a natural disaster (such as a comet heading for earth) or from the characters themselves, their traits and reactions a causality in itself. Narrative can be described as a chain of events that cause-effect relationship occurring in time and space and they are changed in two ways either by duration or perspective. In 21 Grams it is a significantly long time - the narrative being re-ordered and inter-cut with repetition for heightened drama and tension but we do hear the sounds of it because we see the after-effects. Thus we hear the story of what happened from many characters points of view and we even see the dead bodies, but we never actually see the car hit Michael and his two children. It is not until later that the narrative reveals he has had a heart transplant and is now recovered therefore the plot has away in which it can withhold or supply information as it sees fit, causing either surprise, curiosity or suspense. The effect of the crash causes them to interact, meet and generally affect the other characters.

In 21 Grams it follows a similar narrative structure. Of course their complicated lives make for an equally complicated narrative because of the temporal relationships between these four elements that cause the audience member to actively participate in forming a cohesive narrative. In this way, it is demanding film and therefore it cannot be regarded as a classical Hollywood narrative. This ties causality in with temporal order because the three main protagonists are all affected in different ways by this event. In conclusion, 21 Grams the narration is mostly omniscient in that we occasionally see the effects before the causes and we see scenes and traits of characters that the other characters do not see. Narration directs us through this information and makes it a moment-by-moment process that guides us in building the story out of the plot.


The movie is about an upscale gang of five "takers", Gorden Jennings (Idris Elba) A.J (Hayden Christensen), Jesse Attica (Chris Brown), John Raway (Paul Walker) and Jake Attica (Michael Eal) who really know how to do their job. They execute their bank heist with ease and they have everything planned to a T. In the start it seems that none of them has a criminal record, is under surveillance or raises any suspicion from the FBI. When the movie starts they are on assignment, stealing from a bank (Fritz 3). Very swiftly they move to the top of the building because they have already been surrounded where they hijack a news helicopter as their means of escape, blow it and then leave in their own personal means.

They have the kind of attitude that is expected from a bunch of bankers or CEOs because they wear tailored suits, drive posh cars and bikes and not least they live in the lefty suburbs in New York. After this heist they vow to lay low for a least for a year before they can do another heist but all that changes when host (rapper T.I) is released from jail early and he is on a revenge mission. Ghost surprises the crew after getting paroled for he had been in jail for five years after he took a fall for the gang during a robbery and they forgot about him but he did not tell on them. He also seems to have unfinished business with jakes gorgeous girlfriend, Lilli (Zoë Saldana). Ghost comes up with what he calls a lifetime deal, a heist involving an armored car that would earn each of them at least $250000 (Fritz 4).

He says the plan is water tight and that he was told about it by some Russians while in a pen. Hot on their trail are two cops, Jack Welles, (Matt Dillon) and Eddie Eatcher (Jay Hernandez) who will leave nothing to chance to put these crooks behind bars. Meanwhile Idris has a sister in rehab that is threatening to derail the plans. Ghost insists he harbors no ill feelings toward the crew for abandoning him and draws them into a and Meanwhile, Welles begins to zero in on some of the members of the crew and comes up with evidence that a second heist is in the making but it does not go as well as planned, though the crew manages to make off with the money. Detective Welles spots Jesse during his getaway via the subway and pursues him on foot and during the chase Jesse is cornered and he is forced to shoot Detective Hatcher in his escape. Hatcher dies from his wounds despite his partner's best efforts to save him.

Jesse admits to shooting a police officer when they meet with the rest of the crew at a hotel room where later on the Russian gangsters storm the room and attempt to gun down everyone present except for Ghost. He had earlier snuck out through a window during this time and it seemed that he had previously cut a side deal with the Russian gangsters to kill his former crewmates. Jake manages to kill the Russians but A.J. dies in the ensuing firefight. When Jake and Jesse return home they find Lily's lifeless body and the police surround their home and the two decide to go down suicide by cop fighting with the police (Fritz 6).  As Ghost prepares to finish off Gordon when John arrives and shoots him dead where they take the money and drive off but the gravely-wounded Welles manages to call 911 for help on his cell phone.

Thing about this movie is that it doesn't have a lot of going on when it comes to dialog but they make that up with a lot of explosions. The unwritten dialogue is what gives this movie the edge. It is a cool movie and despite all the stars, Idris Elba shines brightest. He has an American accent and he is really cool. As for T.I he didn't have to be in this movie. He added nothing, not even star power! It is not a brilliant movie, most of the action is very basic and obvious but it makes for the light entertainment.

The Other Guys

The director Adam McKay didn't disappoint because in the 1hour and 47minutes of the movie they was actually humor. When was the last time you watched a comedy and actually laughed? Well one shouldn't look any further than this film. This film has a lively opening introducing the thief-nabbing heroism of two officers played by Samuel l. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson, forming a stark contrast to the mundane paperwork duties undertaken by bickering desk- bound cops Allen Gambie (Will Ferrel) and Terry Hoitz( Mark Wahlberg). Jackson and Jonson are the real stars, dramatically chasing criminals and taking the glory at press conferences while Allen Gamble is a prissy New York cop who is happy pushing paper work rather than fighting crime. His hot-headed partner Hoiz is only office bound because he accidentally shot a star baseball player.

Now he seethes with frustration and yearns for a piece of the action in the streets. The chance arises when gamble follows a paper trail that leads to a financial conspiracy masterminded by British banker David Ershon (Steve Coogan). Before long the squabbling duo are compelled to trade in the office for the streets by busting some dodgy financial dealings and kidnappings in New York City in a bid to prove themselves to quickly boss captain gene (Michael Keaton).

Ferrell and Walberg make an interesting and engaging on screen duo and spark off each other to amusing effect, particularly during the films' best verbal gag, an argument about who would win in a fight between a lion and a tuna. Walberg who is new to comedy is particularly brilliant, impressively flexing his comedic clot in all his scenes. The rest of the cast, which includes, Eve Mendes, Michael Keaton, Anne Heche and Ray Stevenson offer great comedic support.

Allen believes the $32 billion Ershon seeks will come from the New York Lottery Office, but he discovers it will really come from the New York Police retirement fund. Police backup finally comes but both the officers' end up getting shot but they rescue the two and arresting Ershon and Wesley. Allen and Terry believe that the true heroes are the ones who make the world a better place and on Ershon's arrest it lead to a stock market crash and a subsequent federal bailout. "I am a peacock, you gotta let me fly" is Terry's remark when the film comes to an end with a peacock flying by the screen as Terry and Allen drive off.

That said and done, its fair to say that not all the jokes find their targets and the firsts half of the film is much funnier than the second. On top of that, the script is bogged down by a confusing slow-moving plot. It has many funny moments, the characters engage and the action is quite exciting.


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