The Time Traveler’s Wife

I read Audrey Niffenegger’s book a couple of years ago. The book follows the life of Henry who has a genetic disorder like epilepsy that causes him to get displaced in time. He time travels to other places and times in his life. As the book follow him we see the earliest incident of one of these fits. The movie starts with this incident and follows Henry as he grows up. While we are watching Henry grow up we see him meet future versions of himself. The older version is able to act as a father figure to the younger self. Later in the story he meets his future wife for the first time however she has already known him for years. And so goes the story jumping back and forth through time.

The movie does a wonderful job of keeping you following the timeline. By following a single timeline in the story you avoid some of the confusion in the book. Some of the confusion is necessary as when Henry jumps through time he has no idea of where he is or how long he will be there. The movie shows Chicago spanning the 50 years of his life.

Rachel McAdams fit right in as the titular wife, Clare. She is portrayed with a depth of character commensurate of a woman who is living with, nay married to a great secret that she manages to keep for most of her life. In a dramatic twist keeping that secret from her family has tragic consequences for our Henry.

The movie did have to leave out character development of Henry’s father. That relationship was more defined in the book. The tragic event at the beginning of the movie shatters Henry’s father. He is only restored in character once Alba comes into their lives.

The movie also makes short work of Alba’s character. They explain this a little giving her character more control over her gift than her father. The completely gloss over how horrible her give would be for her as a little girl. I forgive the movie both of these faults as it is a movie. I recommend the novel. It is a great story.

The special effects are beautifully subtile. Henry just fades away. We never see him materialize. The movie is full of Eric Bana’s back side as he shows up naked on the other side just like a terminator. Other scenes skip the fade special effect and all we are seeing is the empty clothes falling to the ground.

If I had one complaint about the movie it would have to be the band (Broken Social Scene) at the wedding. This was obviously a soundtrack placement. The band was playing a cover of Joy Division/New Order’s Love Will Tear Us Apart. The tempo of the song was too slow. It actually drew some laughs from the audience in what was supposed to be a romantic moment. The rest of the soundtrack was rather boring designed to help you cry at the end of the movie apparently. Here you have a story that spans over 4 decades and all you have for music is one cover of an 80’s punk song. The music could have been used to cue the audience in the the time when Henry jumps.

I recommend this movie as a date movie. Our theater was sold out which surprised me. The demographic for this movie would see to be 20-something pregnant women judging by our audience. This movie is also a good rental so add it to your Netflix que now.

Leave a Reply