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A Movie Analysis of The Butterfly Effect, a Science Fiction Film by Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber

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Personally, I have always enjoyed movies that teach audiences something or other. Especially, movies that require deep thought to unravel the plot behind it. I remember my first time watching this film, I had to rewind it because I couldn’t make the pieces fit. Although, the second time around, I found the significance to understanding these ideas was clearly stated in the initial scene of the film. This beginning scene includes the definition of chaos theory. The main premise of this theory concludes that even small initial differences can lead to unknowable consequences in the future. This idea is directly represented in the fact that I had to rewind the movie. I missed the significance of this theory in the beginning scene, therefore I could not connect the dots. Not only did this movie provide insight into very interesting Psychological topics, but it allowed reflection of one’s own self and memories. This movie takes one’s own brain on several hunts for truth. One finds themselves questioning some of the main topics explored in such a movie. I personally want to know how exactly these memories can be recollected, these ideas appeared very possible to audiences, which helped in keeping them captivated. The chaos theory prevails in many areas of life, and leads to self-realization. Such ideas broaden my previous thoughts on memories. I see life, in itself completely differently after this film.

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The two main characters, which happen to be love interests, Kayleigh and Evan. These characters are played by Ashton Kutcher and Amy Smart. This movie appeared in theatres in the year of 2004. However, this film took many years to be production ready. Many minor characters were also included in these films as well. Tommy, however, wasn’t a minor role in this selection. As those who have watched this movie before knowing, Tommy is Kayleigh’s bully of a brother. He acts as an antagonist throughout the entire duration of the film. It seems that just as soon as you think he has changed, he shows his evil ways tenfold. He tries very hard to keep this love between his sister and Evan.

My analyzation will be the series expressed in the opening scene. Scenes generally are no more than three minutes and are specific to one location. Momentarily, after the message screen for the chaos theory deludes, a new sight appears for audiences to fixate on. A figure of some sort is hidden by translucent glass panels. Audiences immediately feel anxiety like systems as the thrills begin to creep up in this scene. The Butterfly Effect is not slow to action. Immediately, the screen flashes to an even more anxiety induced coma. The main character Evan (Protagonist), rips open a brief case and hastily searching through a jumbled mess of papers. He immediately barricades himself to a room to gain privacy. The music is beating fast, along with the hearts of audiences. Many assumptions are drawn from this short series of events within this scene (DomSaint,2012).

First, not only location, rather situation alike is somewhat exemplified in this scene. Evan is obviously in some sort of ward or hospital. This is drawn from the fact that Evan is wearing gown like attire during this part. Not to mention the Psychiatrist-like sofa conveniently placed in the background. This clothing is highly important to this beginning scene. Which in all reality, is a flashback Evan is undergoing. Although, audiences are somewhat ignorant to such ideas the first time around. After deep analyzation, one can see why the director chose to do so in this beginning scene of The Butterfly Effect. It was necessary for audiences to have this scene directly proceeding the slide on the chaos theory. All components link to one another, and enables audiences to make such connections. Without these obvious hints towards themes, most people could not conduct the relatability amongst them. This is due to the complexity of the brain that is more than outlined throughout this movie, might I add (DomSaint,2012).

The only dialogue being held in this scene is internal dialect amongst Evan and his doubts. Initially, Evan was unaware of how to control such instances of his transcendence through the past, present, and future. However, in this first, but last scene, we can see that at this point, he has become very aware of these abilities. These specific points of the scene helped conclude many realizations and understandings on such issues. This initial scene was the future of Evans life, this dynamic approach revealed just enough information to audiences to reach an Ah-Ha moment. Evan, by placing strict focus on an event, which he had blocked out of his memory previously, was able to be drawn back to that time and make changes that could be seen in the future (DomSaint,2012). These instances in the beginning scenes were necessary for audience’s interpretations and understandings of the following ideas.

The ambiguity in this beginning scene creates thrills for audiences watching this film. These thrills work their way up, and do not die off during the entire movie. From a few seconds in, audiences are already anticipating the next surfacing breakthrough. The scene’s anxiety provoking strategies reflect the feelings of the Protagonist Evan. He feels that he has lost sense of himself and his mind during this specific scene. As papers fly everywhere, audiences can feel the degree of disorganization in this situation. Not to mention the fluctuating echoing of strategically orchestrated symphony’s adding suspension all around. We as audience members, get a rushed feeling, a panic like emotion (DomSaint,2012). Time is not on Evan’s side which is illustrated by the music, and paper visuals.

Let us not forget, the most obvious indicator, Evan’s frantic and erratic behaviors. These feelings and emotions can be felt highly during this scene, which is why I feel it should be analyzed amongst others within the film. As I stated previously in the beginning of this essay, this film allows for an interactive and thought- provoking entertainment outlet. Audiences literally place themselves and their experiences into framework of the movie (DomSaint,2012). Some of the ideas presented don’t appear to sound extremely crazy.

A deeper yearning for information on such topics arise. The brain will do backflips on retrieving this desire information, however, identically, it will also confuse one beyond imaginable belief. Although many truths can be concluded from research conducted on brain functionality and other similar topics, many additional factors complicate these ideas. For example, bits and pieces of Evan’s flashbacks would appear randomly, at any given time. Even towards the end, he still had difficult truly controlling these forces. Although he did have a better comprehension, there were more unknown parts. These ideas are related to the chaos theory, because one simple difference, can bring upon unknown consequences. This is true in the film when Evan tries to go back and stop the rape of his Kayleigh by her father. However, Evan realizes that once he did this, a whole string of other events (even worse) were to come. We as humans, can never be too sure of the alternative outcomes of the choices we make. Which is why we should choose carefully when making important decisions in life. A small or insignificant difference can bring upon a devouring fatal consequence.

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Hopefully after reading this section, my audiences desire to watch this film. I feel that it is of utmost importance and obligation to oneself to be familiarized with such ideas. This film will keep you on your toes and anticipating more answers. Each person is so unique, which is exemplified in this film, therefore this uniqueness allows many different personalities and behaviors. Psychology aims to discover these concepts and their causations.

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