Todorov's Narrative Theory
Todorov's theory is a theory about the way films are structured. Most films follow this structure, although not all of them do. The theory is like this:
1. The film starts with everything being good, balanced, or normal.
2. This normality is disrupted, as something goes wrong
3. A character/characters realise that something has gone wrong, and decide to right it
4. An attempt, or attempts, are made to right the wrong
5. Everything is resolved, and life goes either back to normal or into a new version of normal.
An example of a film that fits into the theory is Up:
1. Carl lives a normal life on his own
2. Carl harms a worker and flies his house to Paradise Falls
3. He lands in the wrong place, and decides to walk his house to the right place
4. He walks across Paradise Falls to put his house in the right place
5. His house ends up in the right place, but he flies away and cares for the little boy he meets on his adventure
Another film that follows the theory is The Truman Show:
1. Truman lives his life, oblivious to his fake world
2. He realises that his world is all made up
3. He decides to escape and leave his 'world'
4. He attempts to escape, first by driving away, then by rowing away
5. Truman is allowed out of his fake world, and goes to live his new life
However, Memento doesn't fit into this structure, as it starts with the problems being resolved, and works backwards. The ending shows the same thing, and just before the ending, we see the beginning.