Could not compile build file

Hi, I starting a new project in Android Studio 2022.2.1 Patch 1 with Gradle 7.4.2 installed. When I run the synch I run into an error:

Could not compile build file ‘C:\Users\\app\build.gradle’.

startup failed:
build file ‘C:\Users\\app\build.gradle’: 1: Unexpected character: ‘?’ @ line 1, column 1.
?? p l u g i n s {

I’ve tried rewriting the file several different ways and the question marks don’t show up in the file. I’m using Microsoft-1252 instead of UTP-8 or UTP-16. Could that be part of the problem?
Thanks for any suggestions because I’m just wasting time now.

I’d say it more looks like UTF-8 with a byte-order mark or something similar.
Create a completely new file and put the content you want in, but not by copy&paste or you might copy along the unwanted characters.
Or look at the file with a hex editor.