Thursday, 12 January 2017

Narrative Structure & Hollywood Formula:Big

Image result for big 1988

"Big"(1988), directed by 'Penny Marshall', is a film about a boy, Josh, who makes a wish on a Zoltar machine that he was big. With surprise Josh's wish comes true and he wakes up as his older self, played by 'Tom Hanks'. Josh, a 13 year old kid, has to go into the real world and find a job and fend for himself while him and his best friend 'Billy' try to find the Zoltar machine to wish he was young again.

The exposition on this film is at the start Josh goes to get on a roller coaster with a girl that he likes, but it turns out that he is too short to ride. This then means the girl goes on the ride with another boy and Josh's frustration grows. This is the main action that causes Josh to go to the Zoltar machine and wish to be big. So this is the start of the events to unfold throughout the film.

Image result for big 1988

The inciting incident is the moment where Josh wakes up and he realises that he is now 'big'. Waking up in his small bunk bed with his mum calling him from downstairs a confused Josh stumbles to the bathroom, where he looks in a mirror and is shocked by what he see's. From not knowing what to do it results in his mother thinking that he has been kidnapped by his older self, only she thinks he is a random man.

The first plot point of the film is Josh and his friend Billy trying to find the Zoltar machine for Josh to wish that he can be young again. When trying to locate the machine they discover that it will take up to six weeks for them to hear back about the location. This then opens up the second plot point as Josh now needs to get a job to afford living costs. Josh ends up getting a job at a toy company but at first he is just working in a computer department and has no connection to the toys.

The rising actions and obstacles take place at Josh's job. As Josh is at his job for longer he ends up getting into the bosses good books. This happens by Josh, still being a kid, loves to play with toys and has a better knowledge on what is fun then the other senior staff members. Josh is then promoted but this causes issues with the senior members who start to dislike Josh and one of them, Paul, actually ends up punching Josh when he gets aggravated by him in a game of squash.

The twist in the film is that Josh actually starts enjoying living as an adult and more or less turning into an adult. Not doing the same activities and playing the games he would when he first became big, but instead more focused on work and even becomes distant with his best friend Billy. Not only that but he starts for fall for a woman, Susan, who also falls for him. They start to have a relationship but Josh knows that he wont be able to last and avoids telling her his secret.

The resolution in this film is that first of all Josh tells Susan his secret and how he is actually a child. At around the same time Billy received the location of the Zoltar machine as it had been the 6 weeks. Josh ends up explaining everything to Susan and the he goes to the machine to wish he was young again. Later returning home to his mother, who still thought he had been kidnapped.

The ending of this film is a closed ending as the story is over and there are no cliff hangers or easy ways to continue with the story. The plot type is an arc plot as Josh goes through a journey which involves different obstacles which change the outcome of the story, but in the end he finishes where he started.

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