experience in Butterfly Effect
By Harinda Vidanage
A movie with a twist part thriller, part science fiction and a suspense
human drama The Butterfly Effect tests ones imagination to the limit.
“Butterfly Effect,” the directorial debut of screenwriters
Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber (“Final Destination 2”),
is skillfully done, as far as these things go. Like last year’s
“Identity” and, to a lesser extent, “Gothika,”
the new movie manages to play with your mind even when you’re
anticipating the twists. “Butterfly Effect” also shares
some kinship with “The Sixth Sense” in the way it works
the supernatural into a serious-minded portrayal of childhood traumas
storyline goes as Evan Treborn (Ashton Kutcher) has lost track of
time. From an early age, crucial moments of his life have disappeared
into a black hole of forgetting, his boyhood marred by a series
of terrifying events he can’t remember. What remains is the
ghost of memory and the broken lives around him the lives of his
childhood friends, Kayleigh (Amy Smart), Lenny (Elden Henson) and
Tommy (William Lee Scott).
childhood, as originally lived, apparently boasted multiple Stephen
King novels’ worth of horrors. Setting off a homicidal mail
bomb, being coerced to perform kiddie porn, incinerating a live
dog, fending off psychopathic friends, we’re talking messed
up memories worth repressing.
events have had major repercussions for Evan’s childhood pals:
his almost girlfriend Kayleigh (Amy Smart), her rage-filled brother
Tommy (William Lee Scott) and the quiet, brooding Lenny (Elden Henson).
Yet when Evan travels back to alter his and consequently their fate,
the new reality, believe it or not, often turns out for the worse.
back in his childhood body, Evan must come face to face with the
demons of his past. “We’re dealing with some pretty
dark deeds some of the horrible things that human beings do to one
another,” comments co-writer/director Eric Bress.
J. Mackye Gruber feels that the story plugs in to a universal desire
among human beings. “Everybody, whether they admit it or not,
has a day in their life that they would love to live over,”
says Gruber. “This movie poses some interesting questions
about the effects of our actions – in both the past and the
delivers a credibly serious performance as Evan, and he’s
surrounded by a skilled supporting cast, with Smart, Scott and Henson
deftly portraying their characters’ wildly shifting realities,
and Melora Walters providing grounding as Evan’s mom. Ethan
Suplee also makes a strong impression as Evan’s oversized,
sexually active Goth roommate Thumper, while Eric Stoltz turns in
another of his creep jobs.
film makers labored to create a different visual palette for each
of the film’s alternate realities, they brought in veteran
director of photography Matthew F. Leonetti. “We used every
kind of stock that Kodak makes to signal the reality shifts,”
Leonetti says. “Some of our lighting set-ups have been of
the classic black-and-white, film noir genre, even though we’re
using color stock. We also washed-out certain sequences in the printing
process to give them a blue hue. There’s a lot of hand-held
work, tilting cameras, some high shutter speed sequences and low
light level shots. This approach is meant to be psychological and
title refers to the cornerstone of chaos theory: The breeze generated
by a butterfly wing can trigger a cyclone halfway around the world.
But the fate-changing events here are much darker and more profound
than mere insect flapping. So for the people who loved Shyamalans
movie culture Butterfly Effect can be a treat to watch.