Todorov's Theory

The Narrative Theory

Todorov in 1969 produced a theory which he believed to be able to be applied to any film. He believed that all films followed the same narrative pattern. They all went through stages called the equilibrium, disequilibrium, acknowledgement, solving and again equilibrium.

There are five stages the narrative can progress through:
1. A state of equilibrium (All is as it should be.)
2. A disruption of that order by an event.
3. A recognition that the disorder has occurred.
4. An attempt to repair the damage of the disruption.
5. A return or restoration of a NEW equilibrium

A film that follow these steps perfectly is Die Hard.

1. John McClane (Bruce Willis) is coming home to his family for Christmas and all is calm. (The equilibrium)
2. Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) and his team of terrorists take over the nakatomi building which is hosting a Christmas part of which McClane and his wife are attending.
3. (2 points of recognition) McClane isn't in the room when the terrorsits storm in so is able to move up the builiding when he hears screaming. People outside of the building realise there's a disruption when a police man's car is shot at from the building.
4. The police try sending in a SWAT team in which fails. The situation is solved by John McClane throwing Gruber out of a high floor window which kills him.
5. The equilibrium is restored when the police got McClane, his wife and the other hostages out of the building, and the McClanes leave in a police car.

On the other hand, you can't apply the theory to all films.

There are films which you can't apply this narrative theory to, such as Fight Club.

1. The movies starts with Edward Norton (who in this movie has no name so I will call him Edward) trying to cure his insomnia.
2. He discovers that when he cries at these support groups he is able to sleep. (Attempt to repair)
3. After some arguing Edward agress to hit him and punches him in the ear. After Tyler punches Edward in the stomcah and they start to fight. Afterward they go back to Tylers house, which is in terrible shape. Time goes on and they start to have other people fighting with them in the parking lot, until eventually they get to go into the basement of the bar to fight after it's closed and it is then called fight club. (Recognition of disruption)
4. Tyler goes into his boss's office and tries to blackmail saying he won't tell any of the company's secrets if he pays him. (attempt to repair the damage of disruption)
5. Tyler eventually tells Edward that fight club has evovled into Project Mayhem. (new equilibrium)

Although, Todorov's theory is so flexible it could be argued that Fight Club could fit in to the theory. Every film unless it is in a sequel should end with a new equilibrium. Star Wars is a sequel, and even that has a new equilibrium at the end of every flim.

My film will follow Todorov's theory.

1. Clarke Hammer living his everyday life and stilll mourning his brothers death. (Equilibrium)
2. Starts looking into his death more and asking questions. (The disruption)
3. He tries to avenge his brother's death (acknowledgement of the disruption)
4. Attempts to kill the Home Secterary (Attempt to repair)
5. Hammer's dead, and the Home Secterary resigns (New equilibrium)