I am going to be talking about the main narrative of Mean Girls and how it is told. Mean girls is a linear text and are presented in the right order, each segment follows the chronological order of the previous. Throughout the film, there are flashbacks within the narrative, Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) is starting a new high school and she flashes back to her life when she used to live in Africa. This affects the narrative because we get to see the kind of person that she was before she moved to America. The narrative unfolds by Cady joining a new high school; this is the undisturbed stage of the story. She then meets the ‘plastics’ who are the group of girls who are popular and vein. She changes the way she thinks and acts in order to fit in with them, this becomes the disturbance.
The guy she likes doesn’t like what she is turning into; he doesn’t want to be friends with a liar. Most of the school turn against her because she tells lies, and the plastics turn against her because she is spreading rumours. This is the struggle. The elimination of disturbance is when she apologises to the whole of the school at prom for her actions and she is forgiven. All of this is the narrative structure and how the story unfolds. The narrative is character-driven. We mainly focus on Cady Heron, she is the protagonist. The audience is always positioned to identify and support her throughout the film. We, as an audience, feel emotions for her and her actions can make us upset or happy. We can relate to her and what she is going through.
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The film uses a singular narrative and it is also a closed narrative. The narrative does end and there is some kind of resolution. All the loose ends of the story are tied up and the audience is satisfied with the ending. An example of this is when Cady apologises and everyone accepts her apology. The audience is relieved at the ending and satisfied with how it has finished. Mean Girl is an example of a film as they have mainly closed narratives. It has few core characters and the audience is positioned to identify with certain characters. In mean girls, the time is not realistic. The plot covers a couple of years, and we see the changes within the main character. The cause and effect theory is used throughout the film. The narrative is the cause and the effect theory which means that the narrative is structured around events that happen.
However, there is also use of the David Bordwell theory. The audience becomes involved with the chain of events. E.g. Cady becomes friends with the plastics and we anticipate how she might change now that she has become friends with them. Mean girls can relate to the classic Hollywood structure. It includes the narrative structure and the film is mainly character-driven. (E.g. Cady) However, the classical syuzhet does not feature in the film. It is mainly focused on one storyline and this is Cady and how she copes in the world of high school. There is a use of narrative closure and there is an adequate conclusion to the story. She is forgiven and she ends up with the guy she likes.
Propps theory states that there are character types that perform the same function in most narratives. I have decided to do this theory because I think it coincides with and is relevant to the movie mean girls. The hero throughout the story is Aaron Samuels. The villain is Regina George who is the leader of plastics. The princess throughout the story in Cady Heron. The helpers are Damien and Janice, Cady’s two friends. The donor would be Ms Norbury, as she helps Cady to sign up for the maths team. The dispatcher would be her friends Damien and Janice because they send her on a mission to turn people against Regina George. Finally, the false hero is Regina, as she assumes the role of a hero but is unable to complete the mission.