This update is way overdue. As a matter of fact, I just haven’t felt like writing to you at all, but I’ve gotten over it specifically for this purpose. Several weeks ago (sometime in January) I saw the movie “The Butterfly Effect” and rejoiced that Ashton Kutcher was working as hard as he was to avoid his stereotype. If you can’t remember who Ashton is, ask “Dude, where’s my car?” and who’s dating Demi Moore (even though she’s much older than him). Butterfly Effect tells the story of Evan, a man who decides to play God when Kayleigh, his childhood female friend, dies. The directors were also the writers, so this whole thing was kind of their perception on Chaos Theory and Time Travel, although it’s more about psychology and how the brain works than time paradoxes (A paradox, a paradox, a most ingenious paradox, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, a paradox)*. As a kid, Ashton’s character had mental blackouts, which were a side-effect of a genetic disease passed on from his father, who’s now in the looney bin. These blackouts occurred at seemingly key moments in his life and led him to a screwy existence where he was separated from Kayleigh and her dysfunctional family including her psychotic brother Tommy and her abusive father. One day Evan reads some of the journals he kept as a child (an activity recommended by his psychologist to cope with the blackouts) and remembers what happened during one of his blackouts, back when Kayleigh’s dad made a kiddy porno with Evan and Kayleigh. He blacks out, and regains consciousness with a bloody nose. The bloody nose comes from severe brain hemorrhaging which is a result of remembering memories from the blackout zones. Later on, the hemorrhaging occurs because his current memories are wiped out and his brain replicates 13 years of memories in half a minute. Although enough fragments remain to keep him confused each time it changes, he is able to cope each time and search for Kayleigh. In the very end, he is forced to chose between his sanity and Kayleigh, and I ain’t telling you what he picks. Let’s just say that it pleased me to no end that the overall theme of the movie was not destroyed at the end by the addition of some bubble-gum romance.
(Editor’s Note as of September 1, 2004 – Oh yeah, and the director’s cut ending REALLY makes you wonder what the heck it’s all about).
Tagline: Change one thing, change everything.
*Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. I love Pirates of Penzance.