At the Movies – Plot and character development

THE PLOT

The plot of a movie is the sequence of events that make up the story. The plot follows what is called a ‘story arc’.

plot story arc

The plot begins with the exposition. This part introduces us to the scene and the characters and gives us important information about the background.

Then a conflict occurs, and it escalates. Life for the characters gets tenser and more complicated.

The climax is the turning point, where the tension reaches its peak.

Finally, the problem is resolved, questions are answered, and the story reaches its conclusion.

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

Characters change throughout the movie. In a coming-of-age story, for example, a character grows up as he or she learns important life lessons. Often characters have experiences that force them to confront their failings, and they develop moral characteristics. In action movies, heroes discover their powers and become stronger.

Mini Dictionary

exposition – to state the purpose or meaning of something, to display or show
background – 1.) the place and time in which a movie is set, 2.) the space behind something, the opposite of foreground, 3.) a person’s origin and experiences
escalate – to go up, to increase
climax – to highest point, the culmination
resolve – to find a solution, to conclude
coming of age – to pass from childhood to adulthood
failing – A minor defect

Further Reading