Time Travelling Strife
So you're husbands a time traveller who has no control over when he will suddenly disappear into another dimension. That is an idea which could go either way in a movie, played for laughs with him disappearing say during sex or played for drama as he knows what the future holds as well as putting stress on a relationship. Unfortunately "The Time Traveller's Wife" plays it for both and so we get drama mixed with humour all against this romantic tale of everlasting love but the blend doesn't always work. So one moment "The Time Traveller's Wife" is a clever movie which causes you to consider the implications of time travel yet the next tries to be amusing as a benefit of time travel is shown. What this means is that "The Time Traveller's Wife" ends up an entertaining romantic movie which goes from being brilliant to slightly wrong.
When Clare Abshire (Rachel McAdams - The Family Stone) asks for help during a visit to the library she meets Henry DeTamble (Eric Bana) and she greets him like she already knows him. For Henry is a time traveller and Clare has already met him in her past, but the Henry she meets in the library hasn't had those events yet. It makes no difference as Henry falls for Clare who since childhood, when she first met Henry, has always been in love with him. But with Henry unable to control when he disappears into another dimension it puts strain on their relationship as does the fact that he knows what the future holds for them.
"The Time Traveller's Wife" throws us straight in at the deep end where we witness a car accident and a young Henry discovering he can travel through time. It is this side of the movie, the focus on time travelling is where "The Time Traveller's Wife" is most definitely at its best causing you to consider various implications. Of course we are talking theoretical fantasy but with it throwing up such concepts that knowing the future can effect the present and the future actually encroaching on the present makes for an interesting movie. You do find yourself occasional struggling to work out which version of Henry we are watching, a past version, a present version or the future version but it makes it a movie which causes you to think, to look at time travel from different angles and it is all rather quite clever especially when the future encroaches on the present. It's also quite clever in the fact we get further concepts such as being able to time travel is a genetic disorder and passed down leading to possible complications.
Alongside this interesting exploration of the implications of time travel we also get to see how it affects a relationship how with Henry unable to control when he disappears puts a strain on a marriage. It is again quite clever and allows us to think of time travel as more than just having fun in the past or future. In fact this side of the storyline manages to really deliver on the emotional strain that time travel theoretically brings.
But then there is another side to "The Time Traveller's Wife" a light hearted side as it throws in some humour to break up the seriousness of the drama. Now there are some nice moments, the humour of present Henry disappearing on his wedding day to be replaced by future and older Henry does make you smile. And that is not the only enjoyable humorous moment, as an almost predictable scene about the lottery also has that smile factor. But at times the humour seems to encroach at just the wrong time softening a scene which could have had greater dramatic impact. It makes it feel slightly out of balance as if director Robert Schwentke knew it needed some light hearted moments but couldn't gauge how much light heartedness it really needed.
Despite this it has to be said that "The Time Traveller's Wife" is an enjoyable movie thanks to the good performances of Eric Bana as Henry and Rachel McAdams as Clare. The pairing work so well together delivering the emotion of the drama, the light hearted ness of the humour as well as the fear of knowing the future. And to be honest the movie focuses pretty much on this pair so that whilst the supporting cast deliver solid performances they never encroach on the lead pairs acting.
What is nice is that although it at times feeling unbalanced "The Time Traveller's Wife" is a very romantic movie. Bana and McAdams make a lovely couple and we fall in love with them so easily. We also champion them with all the difficulties they face due to Henry's uncontrollable time travel and feel the strain they are going through whilst also the deepness of their love for each other. And as the story unwinds we start to hope that what we think may happen never does. It maybe a case of it pulling are emotional strings but it most certainly works.
What this all boils down to is that "The Time Traveller's Wife" is a very good movie, a movie which not only delivers romance but also makes you think about the implications of time travel. My only problem lies in that whilst it needed various light hearted moments to break up the intensity of the drama the balance is occasionally wrong as the humour encroaches on a great dramatic moment softening what could have been a spectacular scene.