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The Butterfly Effect
Category Sci-Fi , Indie
Year: 2004
Time: 113 minutes
Production: FilmEngine
Director: Eric Bress
Cast:
Ashton Kutcher, Amy Smart, Melora Walters, William Lee Scott, Callum Keith Rennie
MPAA R / UK15
Our Rating 9/10
Watchability 8/10
Contributed by JT
Tag-line Change one thing, Change everything.
 
Plot:

Evan (Ashton Kutcher) is a troubled young man who suffers black-outs at various times in his young life, usually after traumatic events, where he 'wakes' up not knowing what has happened. After he draws a scary picture one day in class, a pyschologist urges him to keep a journal to help with his memories.
  When in his twenties, Evan discovers that he has the power to return to these events in his life, while reading his journal, and can alter the way his life will turn out - but each time something changes, seemingly for the better, it also affects the timelines of his friend Lenny and the love of his life Kayleigh (Amy Smart).

 
So, how does it end?

Evan knows that "the blockbuster" incident is the major thing that needs to change. He goes back in time to the basement of Kayleigh's dad and picks up the explosive. He lights it and threatens the dad, but then when he throws it away Kayleigh picks it up and dies.  When he is back in the future, he discovers that he has taken Lenny's place and is a permanent resident at the psych ward.
  He asks the doctor for his journals, but is told that he doesn't have them - Evan didn't write them after the death of his friend. He is told that the same thing happened to his father, who couldn't find his photo albums.
  That night Evan escapes from his cell and breaks into the doctor's office.  As he starts to play an old home movie he is transported back to a garden party and the first time he met Kayleigh.  He tells his young friend that he hates her and never wants to see her again, and she runs to her mother.  Soon, when her mother leaves her father, both Kayleigh and Tommy will leave with her, and they go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.

Evan wakes up back at uni - with Lenny as his roommate.  He puts all his old journals, home movies and photos in a metal bin and sets fire to them so he can't make any more mistakes affecting timelines.

Later, he is leaving an office building, looking like a high-flying young executive, and talking to his mum on the phone.  He walks past Kayleigh in a white business suit and they exchange a glance. Kayleigh then stops to turn and look, before walking on. Evan turns around, but then continues walking in the opposite direction as Oasis kicks in.

 
Notes
Up to 4 endings were filmed - the Theatrical release has Evan and Kayleigh walking past each other in the street, a second version has them stopping and talking in the street, a third has Evan turning around to follow Kayleigh, and the fourth (the Directors Cut) has a disturbing scene where Evan watches a home video of his birth and then kills himself in the womb - allowing everyone else to live better lives.
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