Thursday, 10 December 2009

The Time Traveller's Wife: Movie Review

The Time Traveller's Wife: Movie Review

Rating: 6/10
Cast: Eric Bana, Rachel McAdams, Ron Livingston
Director: Robert Schwentke
Based on the best selling book by Audrey Niffenegger about a time travelling librarian (yeah, who knew?), the film version of The Time Traveller's Wife finally materialises in cinemas.
Bana stars as old and young versions of Henry deTamble, who, thanks to a genetic anomaly, can travel back and forth through time. Without warning, he simply disappears, leaving behind a pile of clothes and questions - and shows up somewhere else stark naked.
However, one day at a library, he meets Rachel McAdams' Claire Abshire, who tells him that they've met before - only Henry's never met her. Yet.
So they start a relationship and Henry begins to realise that he's met the young Claire - and as their life together grows, Claire begins to suffer the strain of not knowing how long Henry's around for her and what they can do together.
Can their love survive? And what hurdles will they face in their future - will Henry's genetic problem be passed onto their children?
The Time Traveller's Wife may have you leaving the cinema doing one of two things - either scratching your head over the intricacies of jumping around in your own timeline (the bane of sci-fi - and Sam Beckett - for years) or bawling your eyes out.
It's a romantic fantasy with a narrative that jumps back and forth (although not as strongly as the book did) - director Robert Schwentke has made the narrative as linear as he could.
Bana and McAdams bring considerable charm to their respective roles - and the effects of Bana melting away as Henry are pretty cool (like water running through a painting) - but The Time Traveller's Wife has a kind of mournful spirit throughout.
Henry's condition is never seen as anything more than a curse for him - he can't save his mother from a fatal car accident and he never seems entirely happy to just disappear. Even when flashes of his death appear, it's a nice touch to see that Bana's character is scared because he finally has something he wants to stick around for and that's now out of his control.

The Time Traveller's Wife won't set the world alight - despite some of the corny lines, there's a quiet air of sadness in it which induces a major case of the weepies at the end.

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