The phrase refers to the idea that a butterfly’s wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that ultimately cause a tornado to appear (or prevent a tornado from appearing). The flapping wing represents a small change in the initial condition of the system, which causes a chain of events leading to large-scale phenomena. Had the butterfly not flapped its wings, the trajectory of the system might have been vastly different
Yesterday I saw the The Butterfly Effect. I cant remember the last time I was so deeply affected by a movie. Maybe it was Ran – War, downfall, betrayal or Shawshank Redemption – Hope or like the lesser known Simon Birch – God has a plan for everyone.
But this time it was different. An unexplainable surge of fear and adrenaline flowed through me for most part of the movie all through the night. I never thought this would happen in an Aston Kutcher movie. Such a Cinema-critique-wannbe be I am.
Ill quickly take you through the movie. Evan Treborn (Ashton Kutcher), who suffered severe traumas as a boy and a teenager, blacks out frequently, often at moments of high stress. While searching for an answer to heal his emotional wounds, he finds that when he reads from his adolescent journals, he travels back in time, and is able to essentially “redo” parts of his past, and thereby causing the blackouts he experienced as a child. There are consequences of his choices. Any change that he makes in the past propagates back to the present; his alternate futures vary from frat boy to prisoner to amputee. Everything around him changes as well – for worse. As he continues to do this, he realizes that even though his intentions are good, the actions he takes always have unintended consequences. In addition, he needs to go further back in time after every attempt as several fatal mistakes he makes do something to wipe out that and all subsequent journal entries. And no more journals = no more triggers = no more changing past.
So I had these lingering feelings and spasms after watching the movie. And I wondered – why?
Evan Treborn (Ashton Kutcher) creates a new timeline, a whole new universe with its own course of events, his brain rebuilds and stores the new set of memories everytime he flashes back. A total of 6 timelines. One moment a nerdy research student, the next he wakes up as a cool ass frat boy with his girlfriend sleeping by his side. He has no clue how things have changed and has to ask around. And soon he finds something which has gone terribly wrong. The flashback before the finale ends in everything around him becomming ~right~, while he turns into a amputee, his mother a cancer patient. He decides to set things right one last time. And succeeds.
For some movies, for those 90 minutes we can choose to be someone else. I was scared because I was afraid of the possibility of waking up and losing everything I have and everyone I love. This is something I would not be able to live with. Forgive me Hiro Nakamura, you are not my hero. You scare the shit out of me.