The Butterfly Effect is a science-fiction film that roots on the chaos theory, also known as butterfly effect, which focuses on how seemingly unimportant events or decisions may lead to severe alterations in apparently non-related lives or locations. As the theory known as the butterfly effect states, the flight of a butterfly could cause a tornado in the other side of the world.
The film received a lukewarm response from the critics, even though with time it has come to be a cult movie. In hindsight, some of the critics have admitted that they were too harsh in their comments about the film, provided that it has aged extremely well.
Evan Treborn was born in a dysfunctional family in which him and his siblings, Tommy and Kaileigh, endured severe trauma of a psychological nature by the hands of his own father, who forced them to take part in child pornography scenes and sexually assaulted the kids in repeated occasions. These events, along with other strongly traumatizing experiences such as the sight of his father’s murder or the death of his dog, burned alive by his own brother, frequently caused the young Evan to black out.
It is several years later when, while reading some of his early adolescence journals, Evan realizes that he’s got the ability to travel to certain points of the past and it grants him the chance to change how things play out and alter his own present. During this travels, he regains memory of his blackout moments, but the decisions that he makes while trying to improve the current situation for him and his loved ones usually lead to even more catastrophic consequences. By then, Evan is already entangled in a complicated web of time-travelling in which each decision does not only come with alterations for those that surround him, but as well his own physical integrity.
Despite the not-so-great reception that the film initially had, Butterfly Effect is regarded as a complex movie that awoke controversy back in the day, leading to philosophical debate among its audience and bringing up deep, thought provoking subjects.
Amongst other curiosities, it is noticeable that the main character, Evan Treborn, was specifically created for Ashton Kutcher, and it catapulted his career. As well, there’s a very noticeable and eccentric painting hanging on top of Evan’s headboard during the movie, and the artwork belongs to no other than Salvador Dalí, the extremely controversial spanish artist. Another very interesting fact is that the prison scenes featured in the movie, were actually recorded inside a real prison, and what makes it even more special is that the extras that appear in said scenes are no other than actual inmates from the penitentiary!