Essay by ol_smurf March 2005

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While film narrative can be viewed as a number of cause-and-effect links, it may also be perceived in terms of larger structures incorporating the entire film. Bordwell et al. (1997) sees the start of narrative as a point of stable equilibrium, in which the forces of order and disorder are in balance. This aspect of narrative structure is present in Notting Hill as it ends with almost the same equilibrium as the beginning: the chemistry begins to spark when Anna entered William's bookstore to get herself a travel book (at the beginning of the film). The film ends with William entering Anna's press conference and asked her to reconsider her plan of leaving. It is evident that there is a conflict which disrupts it (the bookstore scene in the middle of the film), setting about a series of changes resulting the characters to embark on a search for a resolution to the conflict (the press conference scene), ultimately concluding in the neutralisation of the conflict, and a whole new equilibrium, where everything is back to normal (Farmer, 2004).

In the context of Notting Hill, in response to William's questions as to whether she will stay in Britain, Anna replied 'indefinitely'. Thus, with her statement, the narrative of the film ended as any Classical Hollywood film would end - with a happy ending (Bordwell et al., 1997)