Friday, August 21, 2009

THE TIME TRAVELLER’S WIFE – Intelligent, Romantic, Tragic

I liked the TIME TRAVELLER’S WIFE. It made me cry, and not in a way that made me feel violated and manipulated like TITANIC or DEVDAS. And it made me think, not only about the causal paradoxes that are inherent to time-travel movies – but also about the unique ethical dilemmas the plot brings up.

Ultimately though, the best thing about TIME TRAVELLER’S WIFE is that it doesn’t rotate around the science-fiction aspect of time travel, or about any of the ethical issues it raises – it’s just a good, old-fashioned love story: soft; kind; tragic. The time travel is an interesting twist – it makes a more complex and thought provoking plot possible – it means that, unlike other romances, you can still be thinking about it the day after.

I’ve never read the book, and it’s possible that it doesn’t do it justice, few films do. I would certainly have liked some of the issues explored further. Was the relationship genuinely fidelitous around the conception of the couple’s child? Was the hero’s decision prior to that conception justified? Was the hero cruel or kind at the end? I would imagine the book looks at these in some more detail.

But I’m nitpicking. Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams are convincing in the main roles – the movie is well shot and directed – the screenplay has appropriate depth and feeling. It was funny, happy, sad and thought provoking – and while it won’t be everybody’s cup of tea (I can see young male action-movie-fans balking at this one) - it proved an excellent couples movie and a poignant way of spending an afternoon with Mrs Plainview.

Fundamentally a solid, intelligent romantic drama: highly recommended to all fans of the genre.

THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE is on release in the UK, USA, Canada, Iceland, the Philippines and Mexico. It opens in September in Greece, Singapore, the Czech Republic, Germany, Argentina, Hong Kong and Vietnam. It opens in October in Sweden, Russia and Estonia. It opens in November in Australia, Italy and France. It opens in December in New Zealand and on February 25th 2010 in Portugal.

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