A Quick and Easy to Understand Syuzhet Definition in Film

Are you wondering what the term Syuzhet means and how the definition in film applies? It’s quite common for the terms Fabula and Syuzhet to come up particular when discussing Russian formalism theory and narratology. Particularly, when it comes to the description of narrative structure, Syuzhet represents the narrative. Whereas the fabula represents the chronological order of events which are part of the story. In this quick and easy Syuzhet definition in film we’re breaking down the true meaning of the Syuzhet and what it means in the film industry.

Beverly Boy camera crew on set

What is Syuzhet in Film?

The term syzuhet in film stands for the way the story is organized. Similar to the fabule which means the raw material of the story. The syuhet is representative of how the story is organized.

So, this includes the narrative plots which makeup the beginning, the middle and the end. 

Chronological Order

In a film, Syuzhet represents the narrated complex version of the chronological order of events, or the fabula, in a linear plot.

Which may be told out of sequence through flashbacks or flash forward. Technically, the Syuzhet is the linear telling of the story, or a version of the story.

But the story might be told in many different ways which represents the version of the story that is narrated and circulated around.

Applying Syuzhet in Film

Syuzhet in literature or film represents the employment of a particular narrative, and a fabula. Which includes a chronological order of events which are contained within a story or film.

According to studies, the fabula represents the raw material that make up a story. And which can be ordered chronologically or through flashbacks and flash forwards to create the story.

Furthermore, the Syuzhet, definition in film means that the story is organized a particular way.


Thus, the filmmaker has the power to dictate the Syuzhet. Although both the filmmaker and the audience have the power to dictate the Fabula depending on various factors.

Narrative plots which have a beginning, middle, and end represent the way the story is organized.

Moreover, it essentially shows that the finished arrangement of the narrative events of the story are to be presented to the reader in a particular way that represents the true sequence.

The Takeaway

Lastly, where fabula is like plot, Syuzhet is like the sequence and duration of events making up the plot.

Within a film, there are a variety of elements and literary devices which drive the story forward.

According to Russian Formalism, Syuzhet is an arrangement of narrated events that are presented to the viewer regardless of their true sequence.

They might be delivered in order, out of order, or in other ways. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *