Witnessing the same event unfold from different angles reveals new insights, motivations, and emotions. The multi-perspective storytelling technique is an engaging approach that increases the film’s suspense and appeals to the viewer’s imagination. Below are examples of films directed using this method.
1. Vantage Point (2008)
This 2008 American political action thriller was written by Barry L. Levy and directed by Pete Travis. From the different perspectives of several characters, the story focuses on an attempted assassination of the President of the United States in Salamanca, Spain.
2. Last Duel (2021)
The film tells the story of a knight who challenges a former friend to a duel to settle allegations of severe personal assault against him. Due to the different perspectives of the three main characters, the events leading up to the duel are divided into three different chapters.
3. Rashomon (1950)
This Japanese psychological thriller is famous for its plot devices, in which many characters offer subjective and contradictory alternative explanations for the same incident: the murder of a samurai in the forest.
4. Memento (2000)
A series of black and white scenes presented in chronological order and a series of color scenes presented in reverse order constitute the film’s non-linear narrative. The film details a man who suffers from short-term memory loss and is unable to form new memories as he searches for the person who attacked, assaulted and murdered his wife. The film’s conclusion combines the two sequences to form one seamless story.
5. Go (1999)
The film follows many different characters who are connected in some way to the Ecstasy Sale, and depending on your point of view, the viewer is forced to perceive the characters through completely different prisms.
6. Knives Out (2019)
Each character in this mystery film narrates the same events when speaking to Benoît Blanc (Daniel Craig), but they all have secrets they are trying to hide. Additionally, each character has their own unique storytelling style. The audience must unravel a fascinating web to solve the murder.
7. 11:14 (2003)
Directed by Greg Marks, this comedy-thriller follows five different plots. The film explores the experiences of many people whose paths cross in a small town at 11:14 p.m. The story unfolds in an unconventional order, with each character providing a unique perspective on the events of that night. It all culminates in a series of car-related accidents that occur one night.
8. Gone Girl (2014)
The fact that each half of the movie is seen from a different character’s perspective helps unravel that mystery. The first half of the film is told from the husband’s perspective, and the second half from the wife’s perspective, with the husband of a missing wife becoming the main suspect.
9. Courage Under Fire (1999)
Serling (Denzel Washington) had to sift through the different perspectives of the soldiers who served with the recently deceased Karen Walden to determine whether she was worthy of a posthumous medal.
10. Hero (2002)
The film depicts an unnamed mercenary (Jet Li) explaining to the Emperor of China how he defeated three brutal assassins. This feat was explored from the perspective of a mercenary and an emperor. Only when the third act fills in the blanks and connects all the dots will the viewer realize who is telling the complete truth.
11. Handmaiden (2016)
The film, an adaptation of the book Fingersmith, focused on a young girl who works as a maid to a Japanese heiress. The story begins with a maid who appears to be taking part in a con artist’s fraudulent scheme. It follows a romantic affair between her maid and her empress. However, key events seen from another character’s perspective provide additional insight into many scenes.
12. Jackie Brown (1997)
After Jackie and Louis nervously and frustratingly exchange money at the mall, Melanie is shot dead in the parking lot. This scene is reenacted three times in the film, allowing viewers to realize that certain characters know more than they are letting on.
13. Pulp Fiction (1994)
The plot of the film revolves around a diner robbery in which various characters meet, each told from a different point of view. The three main protagonists were followed through various life events that all happened at the same time. At each turning point, the characters in the nonlinear novel discover a shocking new finale.
14. Run Lola Run
in Run, Laura, run, a young woman takes 20 minutes to find enough money to save her boyfriend’s life. What makes this film unique is the narrative structure that presents three different versions of Laura’s race against time, each with its own outcome.
Through these parallel storylines, the film explores the concepts of fate and the butterfly effect, showing how small decisions and chance encounters can drastically change the course of events.
This multi-perspective approach allows the audience to witness the consequences of Laura’s actions from multiple angles, providing a thought-provoking and exhilarating cinematic experience.
15.I See You
I See You, released in 2019, sees the family’s father not only lead the kidnapping, but also deals with strange events happening around his own home, which puts the family at great risk. It depicts him suffering from severe mental pain. We see all the events unfold from the family’s perspective, and towards the end we are treated to a long-kept secret of what is really going on around this family.
Amaka Chukwuma is a freelance content writer with a bachelor’s degree in linguistics. As a result of her insatiable curiosity, she has written in a variety of B2C and B2B niches. However, her favorite subjects are in the fields of finance, health, and technology. In the past she has contributed to publications such as Buttonwood Tree and FinanceBuzz, and currently she writes for Wealth of Geeks.