When we first started class and were told that the theme was going to be time travel The Butterfly Effect immediately came to my mind. The entire movie is about the main character Evan traveling back in forth in time to try and make a happy ending for everyone in his life. The movie jumps around from memory to memory and in the end they all add up and make sense, so excuse the semi random series of events.The trailer might help it make more sense.
The movie starts when the main character, Evan is a little boy. He draws a strange picture at school of him killing someone. His teacher tells his mother about the drawing, and when she asks Evan about it he doesn’t remember doing it. She takes him to the doctor to figure out why he can’t remember certain things. He experiences black outs from stress that come from him not having his father in his life. The doctor tells him to start keeping a journal in hope to monitor his memory.
Evan then meets a little girl kayleigh and her brother Tommy at a birthday party. They become friends and start hanging out a lot. Kayleigh invites Evan over to her dad’s house to play one day and her father suggests filming an “adult” version of Robin Hood with them, then suddenly Evan blacks out and doesn’t remember what happened.
Evan then asks to meet his father, who is being hospitalized in a mental institution. Evan is talking with his father and suddenly blacks out again, then wakes up to his dad chocking him. The doctors come in and take his dad away and a few days later his father dies.
After that the movie jumps forward to when Evan is a teenager. Him, Billy, Kayleigh, and their friend Lenny are in the woods playing. Billy tells Evan to put a fire rocket in their neighbor’s mailbox so they can blow it up. (Tommy has severe anger issues because of the physcial abuse he gets from him father) Evan says no and tells Lenny to do it. Tommy eventually pressures Lenny into it and he goes up to the mailbox and Evan blacks out again. He wakes up to ambulances and his mother yelling what happened and he once again can’t remember. His mother takes him to the doctor again, this time he made Evan lay down and talk through that day in the woods. He started remembering what happened, they put the fire cracker in the mailbox and their neighbor came home. She was holding her baby girl when she opened the mailbox and the fire cracker exploded. He woke up from his hypnosis and his nose started bleeding.
Then Evan, Kayleigh, and Tommy are at the movies. By this time its clear that Evan and kayleigh have a thing for each other, and Tommy catches them kissing. He goes crazy on Evan and tries to burn Evan’s dog alive. Evan blackouts again and doesn’t remember anything after that. His mother decides to move him away because of all the strange behavior with Tommy and the fire cracker incident.
The movie jumps again to when Evan is in college. He and his roommate decide to go out and celebrate because it had been 7 years since Evan has experienced a black out. He brings a girl home with him and she finds his journals and wants him to read some of it to her. He does and suddenly goes back in time to the memory he is reading about. After this strange incident he decides to go back to his hometown and visit his old friends. He goes to Lenny’s house and asks him to help him remember that day when Tommy tried to kill his dog. Lenny freaks out on him, its clear that Lenny has suffered deep psychological damage from Tommy growing up. He then goes to see Kayleigh, shes not doing so well and gets upset with Evan for leaving her. She tells Evan about her father’s sexual abuse growing up and how she hated him for moving away and later that night she kills herself.
Evan was so shaken by Kayleigh’s suicide that he is determined to find a way to change what happened in the past. He reads his journals and discovers that he can read and go to that moment and alter what happens. He goes back to the day at Kayleigh’s fathers house and threatens him about trying to molest them. Then he wakes up and has a whole new life. In this life him and Kayleigh are a happy couple in college and everything is perfect, except for Tommy. He ends up getting all the abuse from their dad growing up and leaves him with severe anger issues. Tommy is angry at Evan for being with Kayleigh and attacks him. Evan and him get in a serious fight and Evan ends up killing him and going to prison.
The rest of the movie he keeps going back to significant moments from his past and tries to change the outcome, but no matter what someone ends up in an ever worse situation. His motive the entire movie is to save Kayleigh from her messed up past and still end up being with her, but no matter what he changes from the past her future is never better.
In the end Evan tries one more time to save her. He goes back to the day he met her and is mean to her. (During the movie kayleigh tells that she moved in with her father in the first place because she liked Evan) This way she would have never experienced the abuse from her father and Tommy wouldn’t have anger issues because of abuse or hate towards Evan for liking Kayleigh, and Lenny wouldn’t have psychological issues. This way everyone has a happy ending. The only thing is Evan has to sacrifice his relationship with Kayleigh.
The movie ends with Evan all grown up walking down the street and he passes Kayleigh. She walks by him like she doesn’t know who he is then she turns around for a second look leaving you to believe she has some memory of who he is.
The time travel in this movie is random and unfolds as the movie goes on, which is very similar to the story line of Slaughter House Five. Billy Pilgram’s time travel is random and the full outline of his life make sense as the story goes on and reveals the events allowing the reader to piece a timeline together. I think this random unclear format made both this movie and novel interesting to me. It keeps the reader or in this case viewer engaged to entire time.