Tuesday, November 10, 2009
The Time Traveler's Wife
The Time Traveler’s Wife
Director: Robert Shwentke
Cast: Eric Bana, Rachel McAdams
In My Own Words
Another film I had been looking forward to for a long time. I read “The Time Traveler’s Wife” at about this time last year while I was travelling in the USA. I really enjoyed the book written by Audrey Niffenegger. Although, I knew two things going into the movie. One was, the movie is very rarely as good as the book, so my expectations weren’t too high. Two, I knew it would be really hard to carry out a lot of the things in the book on the screen. So before going into the movie, I was guessing a lot of the ways in which director, Robert Shwentke would translate. Oh…and I was also expecting some tears! Especially if Rachel McAdams was able to carry out the same sort of performance she gave in “The Notebook” back in 2004. I was impressed with the casting of her and Eric Bana in the lead roles as the physically resembled the images I had seen of Henry and Clare in my mind whilst I was reading the book.
However, there were no tears. The trailer was a bigger tear-jerker than this movie. I don’t like crying, but crying in a movie is sometimes a good thing as it symbolizes the movie making emotional connection with the audience. In other words, a success! There was also many unanswered questions at the end of the movies for those who had not read the novel. So, you can see in which direction I will be going with this review.
These are my words and this is my review.
Based on the best-selling novel by Audrey Niffenegger, “The Times Traveler’s Wife” is ultimately about the love between the time traveler, Henry and Clare. Henry has a genetic disorder that enables him to involuntarily travel back and forwards in time, which obviously causes strain on his relationship with Clare, who has to cope with his unexpected absences and unwelcome surprises. Fans of the novel would have been eagerly awaiting the release of this movie. However, like many movies based on novels, it does not reach the same heights and emotions that the book does. It was inevitable that “The Time Traveler’s Wife” was going to be turned into a romantic drama on the big screen and it was also inevitable that it would be difficult to be successful, but this interpretation has not done it much justice at all.
The direction of Robert Schwentke is, for one, commendable in this film. The locations in Chicago and the sets used are perfect for the film. Each scene is well edited and the special effects are also well done. There really are some beautiful images in the film, such as those of open meadows and falling snow. However, this is as far as the brilliance goes. The main thing that is missing from the film is the emotion. One would consider a film in which a woman is constantly losing and missing her husband and goes through several other traumatic experiences to be a tear jerker of sorts. However, there are few moments that the audience actually connects with the film and feels and emotional connection with the characters and their situations. Even the end, which should not leave a dry eye in the house, is lack lustre and not as heart warming as it should be. This is the major downfall of the movie. As said before, “The Time Traveler’s Wife” was always going to be a hard novel to convert to a movie, but the movie should pull emotion just with the same subject content.
The acting is also disappointing, which is a shame considering it is Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams in the lead. Bana is not bad as Henry, but he still could have taken the role much further, as is the case with co-star McAdams. The best acting throughout the whole movie from McAdams is right at the very beginning when she see’s Henry for the first time in the library. Her face completely fills with happiness and makes one excited about what is yet to come. The two look perfect on screen as Henry and Clare, yet there is very little character development and they do not succeed in gaining any empathy from the audience.
Overall, “The Time Traveler’s Wife” was a disappointment. Perhaps it will be more of a disappointment to those who have read rather than to those why are flying blind when entering the cinema. So much more could have been done with this film than was. Maybe the movie will be remade in another few years and will be more of a success then.