The phrase "push the narrative along" appears in one film review in "The Guardian". What does it mean?

The whole sentence is:

At 2hrs 20 mins (the length of the film), it's also far too long, ..., percussive score helps to push the narrative along.

  • Please can you add a link to the original article, so people can see the full context if they want to?
    – SteveES
    Commented May 30, 2017 at 14:35
  • In isolation, the expression simply means "make the narrative move forward", or "move away from some (perhaps slow or tedious) events to new events".
    – user3395
    Commented Jun 3, 2017 at 11:49

1 Answer 1


A narrative is a description of a sequence of events, sometimes created or spoken as events are unfolding live.

It's often used in a manner synonymous with story, in which case the narrative will be pre-written or pre-planned and have an introduction and ending. So "pushing the narrative along" is something that causes a subsequent event in the story to happen. The writer of your example is saying the percussive score was needed to get the story moving faster, as it was too long and boring.

Note that lately it's become fashionable to use this word as a substitute for text/speech that supports/furthers an agenda, which implies the "story" is a real-life political battle and the "ending of the story" is a specific political aim.

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