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Plot hole

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Plot hole

A plot hole is a gap or inconsistency in a storyline that goes against the flow of logic established by the story's plot. These include such things as unlikely behaviour or actions of characters, illogical or impossible events, or statements/events that contradict earlier events in the storyline. -- Source Plot hole at Wikipedia (e)

From Wikipedia

A plot hole is a gap or inconsistency in a storyline that goes against the flow of logic established by the story's plot. These include such things as unlikely behaviour or actions of characters, illogical or impossible events, or statements/events that contradict earlier events in the storyline.

While many stories have unanswered questions, unlikely events or chance occurrences, a plot hole is one that is essential to the story's outcome. Plot holes are usually seen as weaknesses or flaws in a story, and writers usually try to avoid them to make their stories seem as realistic as possible.

Writers can deal with plot holes in different ways, from completely rewriting the story, to having characters acknowledge illogical or unintelligent actions, to having characters make vague statements that could be used to deflect accusations of plot holes (e.g. "I've tried everything I can think of..." to keep critics from asking why a particular action was not taken). The nature of the plot hole and the developmental stage at which it is noticed usually determine the best course of action to take. For example, a motion picture that has already wrapped production would much more likely receive an added line of dialogue rather than an entire script rewrite.

The viewing or reading audience notes a plot hole when something happens during the story that seems highly unlikely, or would be impossible to imitate in real life. It is usually seen as a mark of good writing or directing when a storyteller presents a story in such a way that the audience does not notice plot holes, or willingly chooses to overlook them in favor of enjoying the story. Of course, a mark of even better writing and directing is a film that has no plot holes whatsoever.

Examples of plot holes in film

  • Arguably the most famous plot hole comes from Citizen Kane where everyone attempts to discover who "Rosebud" was, the name that Orson Welles character mentioned when he died. The plot hole comes from the fact that he lived alone and therefore, no one could have heard him mention the name. However, immediately after Kane's death is depicted in the film, a nurse enters the room, making it seem likely the wealthy recluse was being medically monitored (and perhaps even recorded) the entire time. This "plot hole" seems open to interpretation.
  • The 2004 film version of The Stepford Wives included a major plot hole due to production problems and many rewrites and reshoots. The film's ending, which reveals the wives simply had microchips implanted in their brains, contradicts many earlier scenes that imply the wives are robots.[1]
  • The 1992 film Rock-a-Doodle also has a plot that seems to contradict itself. Chanticleer is a rooster who appears to cause the sun to rise every morning. When the sun rises without him one morning, the other characters believe he is a fraud and so he leaves. It then begins to rain eternally and so the lead characters search for Chanticleer so that he can make the sun rise again. Thus the narrative contradicts whether or not Chanticleer does indeed cause the sun to rise, and if so, it never explains why it rose without him at the film's beginning.

In the film High Tension, the main character Alex and her friend Marie travel to Marie's country house to have a vacation with Marie's family. A truck shows up at the house, the owner of which is a serial killer who eventually kills the whole family, with the exception of Alex and Marie, who are taken hostage in the truck. When Alex kills the serial killer, we find out that she and the serial killer are one in the same because Alex has multiple personality syndrome. This revelation creates many inconsistencies with the plot, many of which involve the truck, which according to the film was driven by the serial killer, aka Alex. However, at the beginning of the movie, Alex and Marie drive to the house in Marie's car, creating a physical impossibility as Alex cannot be in two places at once. This problem is introduced once again, when Alex's killer personality drives the truck, pursued by Alex's real personality in a different car.

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