In early days, Cinema was not used for storytelling. When Lumiere Brothers and Auguste held public screening of their short films, these focused on common day-to-day activities of people like, workers leaving a factory, or train coming to a station. Over the years, public's enthusiasm gave birth to the narratives, we see in the modern cinema.
Cinematic narration depends on collective production, budget allocation, technical stuffs, and marketing. Movie's classic narrative was driven by a central charecter or 'Hero', who always brings about resolution.
Narratives need three basics: a narrator and his point of view, a story and plot, and a contract between narrator and audience.
Story and Plot
Story and plot are fundamental characteristics of every narrative. Story refers to the set of events. Plot refers to the way in which narrative events are stylistically arranged in the film. Plot construction for every genres, like horror or musical, are extremely clear. A plot must be kept moving, giving the links between each events. Not all events in the plot are implied, sometimes it is withheld. For example, in a suspense movie, events are deliberately hidden to be later revealed to audiences.
Causality is the most important in plot construction. It means one scene or event must lead to another in a casual or natural way. If u take Avatar, each scene from the plot, flows casually, like one thing is causing another event.It never takes a strange turn from the story.
Indian movies, mostly leaves this causality, because when there is something serious going in the story, it takes a strange turn or curve to take us to a song or fight, which is irrelevant to plot. Narrative causality are sometimes refused to make a complex structure for a movie. Films like Pulp Fiction takes a different path to establish a plot for the audience. The result is a simple story, told in a intelligent way.
FlashbacksFlashbacks are the most efficient way of narration, for films than for literature. Flashback concepts are implied from a person's memory, or form history. Different uses of flash-backs gave us various narrative styles. The most important narrative is non-linear. Non-linear narratives are now becoming common in films. Films like Run Lola Run, Memento are all famous for it. It has really enlarged the boundaries of cinema.
Present in all culture, narrative thinking is an essential human ability. All the commercial movie-makers use the elements of audiovisual design to construct narratives. We gather at multiplexes and theaters, not to watch a visuals and audios, but to watch a movie, that tells us stories.
What is Film Narrative? - eHow.com