The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect The movie I chose to analyze was The Butterfly Effect. In this film the main character is played by Ashton Kutcher. Ashton plays the role of a boy named Evan Treborn. In the movie Evan suffered his fair share of traumatic formative experiences. For example Evans father was institutionalized for almost killing him. There is a significant amount of abuse going on in the family of his two best friends. Also a prank goes horrifically wrong, and one of Evans best friends starts becoming increasingly unhinged.

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Throughout all this Evan only has the sketchiest impression of these events, thanks to the strange memory blackouts which regularly accompanied them. So, when he moved to a different town with his mother, Evans dim and troubled memories from his traumatic past seemed to be well and truly behind him. At age twenty, however, seven years to the day after his blackouts ended, Evan finds his childhood journals and starts reading them. Evan soon discovers that by reading entries from his journals, he is able to transport himself back in time to those forgotten episodes from the times when he blacked out.

Evan is determined to fix things in his rediscovered past so that he and his old friends can have happier lives. Evan soon learns the hard way that even the tiniest alteration to the past can have gravely unpredictable consequences for the present. Unfortunately, by changing the past, Evan creates a butterfly effect. A butterfly effect is a phenomenon in which small changes to the past events of various people’s lives result in massive, unexpected changes to the present day lives of those same people. It soon becomes an obsession for Evan.

First trying to get his first love Kayleigh back, and then becoming consumed with the various outcomes of those around him. Many films currently convey more and more psychological issues. However, they aren’t always as accurate as they appear to be. Often times in these films the issues are exaggerated and misconstrued. There’s so much fluff added to keep the audience’s attention that the real message about the issue is never relayed. In the movie Evan suffers severe memory loss of traumatic events that have occurred during his early childhood and adolescence.

This was due to a cognitive disorder called dementia. Dementia is loss of brain function which affects memory, thinking and even behavior. Although the movie paints a clear picture of the problem, movies often leave out vital information and create hasty generalizations. During the movie the character Evan reads through his old journals of the taunting memories and tries to go back in time to fix those memories. Each time he tries to fix a memory it goes horribly wrong and he obtains more damage to his brain as result. According to an article people with this disease find other ways help gain back their memory.

For example, “It is a well-established finding in psychological research on verbal memory that encoding simple actions described by verb-noun phrases without a subject by performing them improves subsequent memory performance compared to an alternative encoding condition in which action phrases are encoded verbally by reading the items. ” (Mack, Eberle, Frolich, Knopg, 2005) This strategy wasn’t performed at all from the character Evan. Evan’s biggest strategy was rewriting his past in order to make a better future. I felt as if An Inaccurate Representation of Dementia was portrayed in The Butterfly Effect.


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