Film Review: THE TIME TRAVELLER'S WIFE (2009)
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"The Time Traveller's Wife" Movie Review. 7/10.
By Todd Murphy. ALL ABOUT MOVIES.NET. Share
Directed by Robert Schwentke
Starring Eric Bana, Rachel McAdams
For a film marketed as a romance, “The Time Traveller’s Wife” works well as a sci-fi piece, which will disappoint its target market, and despite not quite handling the time travel aspect well enough, the film offers a unique take on a relationship between two people.
I was pleasantly surprised by “The Time Traveller’s Wife” for the simple reason that the film was not what I thought it would be, particularly after the romance angle was played up so much in the previews. The always good Eric Bana plays Henry, a man with an unusual genetic disorder that causes him to time travel against his will. Along his disjointed journey he develops a relationship with Clare (Rachel McAdams), which plays out in a rather fascinating way as together they do not have a starting point or a seemingly ending point to the relationship. When Henry meets Clare for the first time, Clare has already known him her entire life. When Clare meets Henry for the first time, he is in his forties and knows her intimately, despite the fact that she is a child. Somehow, this disjointed and non-linear relationship develops in to an intriguing sci-fi conceit which allows the characters to know each other’s futures and lead a very unusual life. This becomes important when Henry and Clare see a future version of Henry shot dead in front of them, or when Henry sees his 10-year old daughter after the couple’s trials in bringing a baby full term. Perhaps the best idea present in the film is the timelessness of Henry and Clare’s relationship; even after Henry dies, past versions of himself travel to a point beyond his death, allowing Clare to see him again, albeit briefly. “The Time Traveller’s Wife” is engaging in its ideas, and offers something different than the normal relationship film.
Those expecting a romance film will be disappointed, and they have a right to be considering the film was marketed as a romance. There is a romantic relationship in the film, however, it is not really the driving force behind the movie; Henry is the central point of the film, and it is through his time travelling and interactions at different points in his history that provide the catalysts for everything that happens in the film and the ideas that are presented. Not much time is spent developing the meaning of their relationship, and in fact, some of it seems very arbitrary, particularly when Henry, from his perspective, meets Clare for the first time and just jumps in to the relationship simply on her word. The relationship between Henry and his mother is not properly explored, and is arbitrarily ended in one scene where Henry meets her when she is still alive in the past, and he tells her how much her son loves her. The film seems more biased towards its sci-fi conceit, which is fine for me, but probably not for others. The time travelling aspect itself is not handled one hundred percent clearly either. The film does not stop to explain which Henry we are looking at or what time period he has come from, which makes his journey hard to follow if you were to stop and try to see it through logically. We have to accept what we are seeing at face value and go by Henry’s reactions, which thanks to Eric Bana, are not hard to follow.
Click here for the original review at All About Movies.net.
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Todd Murphy is a film analyst and staff writer/reviewer for the film and DVD review web site, ALL ABOUT MOVIES.NET.