You probably have already watched a movie or series with an unexpected twist, which completely changed the course of the story. Usually presented at the end, this change can leave the audience lost for a short while, but before the film ends, all the pieces fit together.
This feature called plot twist is very old in the construction of a story. So old that it predates cinema itself, but being popularized in the seventh art. And so popular, it ended up being used to exhaustion, which can make this resource a problem, not a solution. But what exactly is it, how does it work and when can it be applied well?
To better understand, it is important to go to the origin of the term. In English plot means plot, plot or action. It is a story told that presents a beginning, middle and end. Within a film (it also applies to books, series, comics and plays), it is common for the script to be developed on a main plot plus a few side ones that help you build the complete story.
Twist means twist or turn, in which case it means a sudden change. Combining the two terms, the result is an unexpected turn of events. And that is what the plot twist is. An example that became very popular is in the film The Sixth Sense. In the plot, which accompanies a psychologist (Bruce Willis) and his patient (Haley Joel Osment) who can see dead people, director M. Night Shyamalan was able to use the narrative to apply this feature intelligently.
When the film ends, the audience realizes that the psychologist died at the beginning of the plot and that his patient is also seeing him as another dead person. There are several clues delivered throughout the film, and when you watch it again it’s easy to see. However, the first time, the director manages to attract public attention so that no one will notice what is in front of their eyes.
However, the feature does not always need to appear at the end of the film. A good example of this is in The Truman Show. Here, Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey) is a person who leads an apparently normal life, but who begins to notice some strange things happening in her. As the film progresses, audiences are surprised to discover that Burbank was put on a reality show at birth and doesn’t know it. As he himself suspects something strange, the audience also begins to suspect, and it is possible to discover the truth at different times, depending on how attentive the person who is watching.
There are also other very popular examples such as The Fight Club, The Others, Psychosis and Good Night, Mama. Or in series like Westworld, which builds plot twists throughout the season, or Game of Thrones, which presented sudden changes at important moments in the series, or The Twilight Zone, which became famous for using this feature at the end of all episodes.