TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE - A Sentimental Trip
THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE (sci-fi romantic drama)
Cast: Eric Bana, Rachel McAdams, Jane McLean, Ron Livingston and Stephen Tobolowsky
Director: Robert Schwentke
Screenplay by Bruce Joel Rubin, based on the novel by Audrey Niffenegger
Time: 107 mins
Rating: * * * (out of 4)
PREAMBLE: I have never liked time-travel films because they give me intellectual hernia. That said, I must admit that I find Time Traveler's Wife, based on Audrey Niffenegger's bestseller, intriguing, palatable and sentimental.
As per what the title implies, it is about a love story that transcends time - something many romantics have imagined but find it hard to fathom.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT? Henry (Eric Bana) is a time-traveller — cursed with a rare genetic anomaly that causes him to live his life on a shifting time line, skipping back and forth through his lifespan with no control over it. Clare (Rachel McAdams) has been in love with Henry since she met him in a meadow when she was 10.
Clare believes they are destined to be together, even though she never knows when they will be separated. Despite the fact that Henry’s travels force them apart without any warning, Clare desperately tries to build a life with her one true love.
HITS & MISSES: In order to follow the tale, it is essential to suspend (but not abandon) logical thought. After a while, a few of the plot's conventions fall into place, like, we learn that Henry usually 'lands' in familiar places when he time-travels, and hence it is possible to place clothes for him when he arrives (as he travels naked through time!).
It also helps that there is a governing principle here, in that even when Henry tampers with his past, he is unable to alter his future. Another plus is the screen chemistry between Bana and McAdams that makes us root for them, especially in the quest to have a child. McAdams is a charmer and their love story recalls The Curious Case of Benjamin Button where we have two lovers trying to live together as best they can in the face of unusual genetic circumstances.
Director Schwentke and scripter Rubin also invest a sense of fun and wit - in the farcical appearance of Henry during the wedding to the clever solution Clare takes when she desperately wants to have a baby.
THE LOWDOWN: A love-against-the-odds story for the ages?