Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

30 November 2009

Time Travel and the Worst Childhood Ever

As time-travel movies go, I have to say I didn't really buy The Butterfly Effect. Anyway, I watched the movie for the prison rape scene(s) in it. (I am currently writing a long, epic chapter/article/something-or-other on representations of prison rape in cinema, so I am watching all of the films that I can think of or find.)

The Butterfly Effect is not really about prison rape, though. It is about time travel. Well, no, to be accurate, it wants to be a film about time travel and madness, but instead it is a film about filmmakers, by which I mean that The Butterfly Effect is really a movie where the directors and screenwriters threw a whole bunch of stuff at the wall and then figured out how to make a movie out of it. The film attempts to be clever throughout its entirety, and it is clever, but this cleverness never really works in its favor and the main character becomes more and more impossible to root for as the plot becomes less and less believable and the lives of the people in the movie become more and more horrifying.

By the time it was over I was really happy about the main character's suicide. It all made a sort of cinematic sense in the world of the film. The trouble is, it doesn't actually make sense at all, and to make a film that is a really good justification for suicide seems a rather odd task.

It made me wonder about time-travel movies that I like. I am not sure if there are any. I don't think I've ever thought about it before, really. I remember really liking Frequency, but I can't really remember any other ones that I've loved. Frequency is a father-son narrative, anyway. I am a sucker for those.

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