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“The Butterfly Effect” explores possibilities of time travel

By Samuel Cheng

Published 12:02 PST, Fri February 3, 2023

Last Updated: 3:53 PST, Fri February 3, 2023

The butterfly effect, also called the ripple effect, is a phenomenon proposed by mathematician and meteorologist Edward Lorenz in 1961. It is the suggestion that when a butterfly flaps its wings, it creates a storm on the other side of the world.

Often, people would wish to travel back in time to fix or change a certain event or timeline in hopes of a more favourable outcome. Little do they know that even the tiniest change can potentially have a significant impact.

The movie The Butterfly Effect, written and directed by Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber, features Ashton Kutcher as Evan Treborn and Amy Smart as Kayleigh Miller. 

Evan suffers from blackouts due to painful periodic headaches. When he is out cold, he discovers that he can time travel back to undesirable moments in his childhood.

Evan tries to change the past in hopes of a better outcome for himself, his family, his friends, and his crush Kayleigh. However, he realizes that while amending one situation or moment is possible, it often changes the sequence and outcomes of future events as well. This leads to the endless cycle of resolving one problem while creating another.

The moral of The Butterfly Effect is that every little action and gesture counts, even when people are unaware. A simple act of kindness can give people hope while an oblivious cold glance could be the last straw for someone.

While the movie may not feature the most jaw-dropping special effects, audiences can draw meaning from the story and the potential phenomenon it points towards.

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