The Butterfly Effect (2004) – A Butterfly’s Wing

Time travel is no longer a rare theme from various materials, films, anime, books, literature, and etc. A genre like this, in my opinion, become something normal for us as connoisseurs of one’s works. “The Butterfly Effect” comes with one of the most common theories in such a work, but this theory is one paradoxical for various philosophies but it’s so interesting to discuss because the flutter of a butterfly’s wings can cause tornadoes and messed up half of the world.

This one isn’t my cup of tea apart from its interesting concept to enjoy but it’s not too great when discussing how this movie executes it. On the other hand, it’s not one of the worst in any time travel stories. It’s one of the most hated movies by many critics but is well-much loved by audiences as we only watch it without trying to nitpick or something like that.

The movie is about four kids who live in various “tragedies.” The main character became the center among the four of them is Evan Trebor, a child who has an abnormality from his own father whose a short-term memory disease. He can’t remember any events in a few seconds and why he was right in a few seconds of it. Bitter memories other than his disorder turned out to have a profound effect on his friends, from the death of his father, his psychopathic friends, pedophilia parents, and etc.

Because of the disease, he must write a daily journal every day. When he grew up, he finally realized that all his friends had bad luck and this was the reason why he roamed in time through his daily journal to fix the past even though his main mission in traveling the time was to save the person he loved most.

With stories which have interesting and non-linear plots, the initial premise does seem simple. It packed with a variety of editing but ending with various options – if you watch other versions of the film, which I watched directors cut first – it’s promising from the beginning to end. But just because I watch too many movies like this, it’s not really fit for me. Even so, this film also has some major effects from the time travel films and introduces a theory from the butterfly effect itself.

The first impression of the story reminds me a little about “Steins;Gate” which I really know that it’s a different kind of things regardless of both time travel. But, to be honest, that’s my first impression. The main character witnessed various painful memories from the various timelines he traveled and it was remarkable on its. There are many choices he must carry out and he takes any risk by trying to return back from the beginning.

My minor problem when it comes to it: what is the trigger? Why could the main character return to his past to do a butterfly effect? Sure, he bequeathed a strange hereditary disease to his father and grandfather but, it’s not so obvious as well. There is nothing explained from any point of view and this film doesn’t attempt to give a clear impression and a broad scope of the concepts it uses. There is some kind of vague information, but the same is the case; the movie doesn’t really explain it. I think we don’t really have to study deeply about the theory itself but “Mr. Nobody” did that after a few years. At the last of the moment, “The Butterfly Effect” isn’t one serious film apart from has an interesting concept because films like this are enjoyable and it’s up to the point.

The movie really made me feel curious about what’s gonna happen on the next scene and honestly, I feel satisfied. The ending is quite reminiscent of “Donnie Darko” which shares the same concept as the two films. While on the other hand, this film isn’t something anyone could enjoy. It’s an explicit content about realism, prostitution, sex, pedophilia, rape, and etc. We are always awake whether Evan can live it all without having to bear a lot of burdens. Speaking of Evan, we really talked about Ashton Kutcher with his total performance.

He is a serious character but can drawed some joke. There is some kind of humor, so this film isn’t too much of a series. Through his acting, we understand a lot about the things around him. We appreciate the time, make the right decisions, learn from mistakes, and other valuable things. In a nutshell, it’s a good movie. Other acting from actors and actresses is also very capable. The various characters they acts are different when Evan changes something so that their characters will also change in the future with their roles in it.

“Don’t waste your time or time will waste you” – Matt Bellamy from Muse. “The Butterfly Effect” is actually a time travel movie with an interesting concept, but the execution isn’t very interesting. Is it complex? Yes. Is it good? Yes. Is it boring? Not really. I always feel curious about what will happen on the next scene so the movie isn’t too serious but easy to keep on track. There are so many kinds of simple lessons we can take in this film. It’s about moving forward, there’s no way back. It’s about fate, mistakes, and decisions. Ashton Kutcher is the most playable actor in this movie. Bottom line, it’s an enjoyable movie but a decent one.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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