Psychology student Evan Treborn who suffered from blackouts
as a child, discovers that he can use his childhood journals to
revisit the repressed events. Unwitting discovering that not only
is he revisiting the events in his mind, but also reliving them
for real, he attempts to undo the traumatic and tragic events of
his past only to find the smallest change can alter the present
in unpredictable and unwelcome ways.
Everyone has moments in their lives that they wish they could go back and change - "If only I knew then what I know now.". Well this film goes to the extreme of this, allowing the main character to change his own past, creating alternative versions of the present, whilst retaining all the memories of the other versions that he has seen before. His problem is that every change he makes for the better seems to make the lives of those around him worse.
Whether it's intentional or not, there are a number of films either out now or due out soon addressing a similar theme - if we could go back and change things in our lives would we be happier - namely "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" (review coming in the next couple of days), and to a lesser degree "50 First Dates". All of which are bound to have people reflecting on their own lives as a result.
Who we are is the result of the choices we've made and the events in our lives, and no matter how much we might want to change something, if we ever could, we would end up losing something of ourselves as a result.
This film has had very mixed reviews, with the subject matter being disturbing at times but over all it does make you reflect on your life and the events that make us who we are.
Review by Paul