Double Feature : Time travel

Now we all know this theme is not uncommon. It’s actually prevalent in so many books, movies and what not. Out of the gazillion movies based on this theme i will be having this post on two movies which I watched back to back and which happened to have the same theme – which is time travel. The movies are , first an anime Japanese film called “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” and the other is an English – language film – Butterfly effect. Both are really popular films, and I bet most of you have seen one of them or in some cases, both of them. Let me know what you felt in the comments section!

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

Cinematic release poster

Country of origin : Japan

Language : Japanese

Directed by : Mamoru Hosoda

Screenplay : Satoko Okudera

Based on : The Girl Who Leapt Through Time by Yasutaka Tsusui

Starring : Riisa Naka, Takuya Ishida, Mitsutaka Itakura, Sachie Hara

Music by : Kiyoshi Yoshida

Released : 15 July 2006

Duration : 98 minutes

Makoto Konno voiced by Riisa Naka

Makoto a high school student in Japan encounters a message on the blackboard one day and discovers an unidentified walnut shaped object in the room. Not knowing what it is, Makoto then takes her bike to go back home. While near a railway crossing the brakes on her bike fail and she is thrown into the passing train, evidently to her death. It is at this time, she suddenly gets transported back in time to her moment just before the accident with her bicycle.

Kazuko Yoshiyama voiced by Sachie Hara

Makoto then explains this strange incident to Kazuko who works at the Tokyo National Museum restoring works of art. After hearing Makoto’s story , Kazuko then tells her that she now has the ability to leap across time.

Initially Makoto uses this ability for the most meaningless things, like to extend her karaoke session over and over again. But over time Makoto realises that the changes she makes each time leaps across time is adversely affecting the lives of others as well.

To the right Chiaki Mamiya voiced by Takuya Ishida

She the uses her time leaps to help her friends, and to avoid a love confession from her close friends, Chiaki. But eventually a number on her arm shows that she only has a limited number of leaps left and that her friends might be in grave danger. She also finds that there’s to more to Chiaki than meets the eye.

The story then moves through her attempts to save her friends with the last number of time leaps that she has and the truth and purpose behind her ability at time leaping and Chiaki.

This movie is not just a movie centred around time travel but so many other things-whether it be growing up, friends, love and relationships. That makes this movie not stick around to just one theme and but rather have a lot of intersecting facets bind together with the single theme behind the entire movie – time travel.

Some people have mentioned over the internet that the final reason why Chiaki was there and Makoto was able to time leap seemed totally disconnected. I don’t really feel so. Sure Chiaki’s reason may be have been less complicated and reasonable than the story behind Makoto’s but what we have to realise at this point is that, Makoto got the complicated storyline that she has, because of her coming upon the object that lets her time leap by chance. I honestly don’t feel there was a disconnection in how the two characters ended the story.

Time travel was used extensively in this film to reach different points of time in the movie. A lot of people often don’t watch time travel movies claiming they are way too complicated to understand like how some people didn’t completely understand the movie Your Name. But this ones not all that complicated.

Overall I would suggest this movie it’s a good time travel movie that wouldn’t require you to churn your brain over and over to understand what just happened. In fact you can even distract yourself a little by eating a little popcorn too. 😁😁😁

The Butterfly Effect

Theatrical release poster

Country of origin : United States

Language : English

Directed by : Eric Bress and J Mackye Gruber

Written by : Eric Bress and J Mackye Gruber

Starring : Ashton Kutcher, Melora Waters, Amy Smart, Elden Henson, William Lee Scott, Eric Stoltz, Cameron Bright, Ethan Suplee, Logan Lerman, John Patrick Amedori

Music : Michael Suby

Rekeased : 23 January 2004

Duration : 119 minutes

Ashton Kutcher as Evan Treborn

The movie starts with Evan rushing to write a note in a book. The surroundings look like he’s in a psychiatric hospital with the doctors and guards chasing him to go back.

Eventually as the story unfolds we realise that Evan has been through some really tough incidents – be it being involved child pornography by one of his friend’s father, or accidently killing a young mother and an infant because of a prank, or seeing his dog being burned alive.

However towards his college life, he realises that if he reads entries from his adoolscent life he can travel back to that time. He then takes it upon himself to change the events that drastically changed his life.

But with each change, he realises that it results in another more grievious change not just to the people around him, but even for him.

What’s worse is that with all the new lives that he leads with each time he alters the past, he has a fresh bound of memories and information in his mind, eventually leading to brain damage and nose bleeds.

Although his intentions were good he realises that he cannot make one change without harming the other, the ripple effect of the Butterfly effect theory we could say. He eventually decides to go back to a time where in he doesn’t meet or spends time with his friends and the girl he loves at all, thus helping them in avoiding all the painful possibilities but having to live not knowing each other, but as total strangers.

Now if you think I have spoiled the whole movie for you I really haven’t. The intricate timeline behind the film and the fate of the characters is what really ties this film together. And that’s a lot of info. Each time when we feel that he has finally made THE right change we realise very soon that he hasn’t and it has led to an even more grave mistake.

This movie has gotten a lot of rebuke for not really fitting into the theory of chaos or the butterfly effect as the title suggests. Now I haven’t gotten into the whole theory in depth and I have heard that there is a film series dedicated to the whole thing (which will be up on the blog very soon, where I wish to take a closer look into the theory of chaos.).

But honestly I don’t think we really needed to complicate the story that much in terms of the theory it’s based on. For a person who is watching the movie simply to be entertained this really forms a whole package – a solid theme, effective events in terms of the changes he made, the effects it has on him eventually, and the ending which I liked a lot. Ashton Kutcher was a single handed performer in the movie with the characters revolving around his character, to which he gave a very good performance. Overall I would suggest this movie if you are a fan of sci-fi or psychologic films that would make you think about the origins of time itself.

Movies like this sometimes makes me think about what is the reality behind time. Are we living on a world managed by someone else like a doll house? Are our lives really determined with a fixed answer like a mathematical solution? Are there really parallel dimensions. I’m a person of wierd imagination and I like to think that some of the questions that I asked just now, has the answer – yes. I guess we will just have to wait and see! . Now its not just these two movies but countless other movies based on this theme of time travel and other closely related themes. Let me know in the comments below if you know some exciting movie like this, that I can watch!

Image courtesy : Google Image Search

7 comments

  1. So cool to see you reviewing one of my favorite anime films of all time! I LOVED that film (and I loved this post!) You did a terrific job of describing the film, and diving into the story line!
    As for the Butterfly effect: I really liked that film too, but it’s been ages since I last saw it 😊 Can’t remember much about it. Your post makes me want to watch it again though!

    Liked by 1 person

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