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"Groundhog Day"; Addressing the Grey Areas

This article does contain spoilers. Viewer discretion advised

Like millions on February 2nd, I rewatched the 1993 classic, "Groundhog Day", starring Bill Murray. Similar to many other classics of this era, this film has a heavy cult following that seemingly grows in size each year. Viewing traditions of the movie vary from household to household. For some, it may only be viewed once. Or for others, in true Phil Conners fashion, they watch the film over and over again all day.

The plot follows a sleazy Pittsburg Meteorologist, Phil Connors, and the events that occur to him in Punxatawney, Pennsylvania. What makes this film especially unique in contrast to other films is the comedic tone and the overall plot. "Groundhog Day" 's key plot point is that the Protagonist, Phil, repeats the same day over and over. By the end of the film, Phil learns his lesson and becomes a better person. This Christmas Carol- esque plot allows Phil to take a really hard look at his life and realize he needs to make a change.

The film tends to leave viewers with more questions than before. There are multiple grey areas not covered that leave various loopholes and other such plot irregularities.

The Outside Driving Force

Phil's conundrum is lead by someone externally. The film never goes on to explain who or what causes the plot, only that it occurs.

Some may take the religious route and assume God is the force. Yet, Phil is not depicted as religious in any point of the film; so contextually, that does not make sense. If it were God, when Phil inevitably learns his lesson, he would be shown going to church and keeping a more righteous lifestyle.

There are no other theories that would realistically cause the time loop. Though personally, I like to believe that Ned Ryerson caused it as an elaborate plot to sell insurance.

What Is The Time Loop?

In the film, the time loop is essentially the same day (February 2nd, 1993) repeated over and over again individually for Phil Collins. Others around him aren't aware of the conflict at hand, as they only repeat this day once. Yet, it is curious what occurs to these individuals after, on February 3rd.

So a natural occurrence could be that everyone sets back, just as phil; but with no memory of events prior. This could very well be the case as it makes the most sense. Though with this, it makes Phil's actions less consequential. For example, when Phil drives Punxatawney Phil (the groundhog) off a cliff, if things were to reset, that makes the actions of Phil (the person) less grave and severe.

Another scenario plays on the concept of "multiple timelines". In which every day is reset for Phil but with every loop becomes a different universe (timeline) where Phil suffers the consequences of his own actions. This is very convoluted and complicated, but what if a version of Phil lives out the rest of his life in said universe yet his conscience resets and moves to a different timeline. For example, the day where he proposes to Nancy. From that day on, there is a version of himself that lives out his pending nuptials with her. While not him at the present, it still exists.

The multiple timelines is inspired by the plot of the sitcom "Community", in which a die is rolled, creating 8 alternate timelines.

With Groundhog Day, I personally choose to believe the alternate timelines scenario; as it depicts the gravity of Phil's decisions, thus overall making the lessons he's learned have more meaning overall. It also makes it more fun to think about his next steps in those hundreds of thousands of days.

Overall, "Groundhog Day'' is an incredible film and it needs to be seen at least once. Though it would be beneficial to not think about the film's implications too deeply as one stands to lose a lot of sleep over it.

Also the record for most watches in a 24- hour span is 14.

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