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Movie Reviews

The Time Traveller’s Wife



Released: 2009

Directed By: Robert Schwenke

Starring: Eric Bana, Rachel Mcadams

Certificate: 12

Reviewed By: Yannis Clark

Based on the novel by author Audrey Niffeneger which was published in 2003, the film adaptation tells us the story of Henry (Eric Bana), an individual born with a rare genetic disorder known as Chrono-Displacement which gives him the ability to time travel, its effects first becoming obvious at the age of five.

However, his unusual and fascinating gift also bears some disadvantages. Henry is unable to control the place and time period to which he travels to and is completely unaware of when and where he will travel to next. And as if these attributes of his disorder were not enough he cannot take with him anything material, finding himself naked, stranded, and in a place and time he is totally oblivious to. His condition only gets worse, not regarding its severity but rather the people it affects.

Specifically, a girl named Clare (Rachel McAdams) who claims she has known him since she was a little girl and with whom Henry forms a relationship. After a while though his comings and goings take their toll on Clare who becomes weary of not knowing when he might leave and for how long he will be gone or when she will see him again or indeed which version of Henry will appear.
This film combines elements of drama, suspense, romance, even comedy, for example Henry turning up both as a young and old man on his wedding day. Just like him (Henry), so is the audience unaware of what will happen next, which adds to the excitement and the surprise factor that this movie has, unless one has already read the book that is. A complicated but well thought-out script; miss a scene and you possibly will not understand its content. It is unstable, unpredictable and perhaps why it is such a different and good choice of film to watch, especially regarding time travelling movies.

The visual effects also compliment this, Henry slowly dematerializing, his clothes falling to the ground, the frame rotating with him as he jumps from one reality to the next. The subtle change of background music and set are all features which immerse the audience more into his world; the fear of Henry, the agony, unease and not-knowingness of Clare. A two-sided love story of and unexpectedness and more so regarding the wife in waiting, as of course the title suggests, where nothing is clear, the future far beyond readable and utterly fascinating to watch.

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