They both have plots, characters, dialogue, settings, symbolism, and, just as the elements of literature can be analyzed for their intent and effect, these elements can be analyzed the same way in film.
Listed here are common approaches to film analysis, but this is by no means an exhaustive list, and you may have discussed other approaches in class.
This handout provides a brief definition of film analysis compared to literary analysis, provides an introduction to common types of film analysis, and offers strategies and resources for approaching assignments.
Film analysis is the process in which film is analyzed in terms of semiotics, narrative structure, cultural context, and mise-en-scene, among other approaches.
This doesn’t necessarily need to be something dramatic; think about how you extrapolate information from the smallest signs in your day to day life.
For instance, what characteristics can tell you about someone’s personality?
They are used liberally in both literature and film, and finding them uses a similar process.
Ask yourself: Narrative structure analysis is the analysis of the story elements, including plot structure, character motivations, and theme.
Like the dramatic structure of literature (exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution), film has what is known as the Three-Act Structure: “Act One: Setup, Act Two: Confrontation, and Act Three: Resolution.” Narrative structure analysis breaks the story of the film into these three elements and might consider questions like: Consider again the example of Frozen.
You can use symbolism and narrative structure in conjunction by placing the symbolic objects/events in the context of the narrative structure.