I was unable to attend Tuesday’s advance screening of “The Time Traveler’s Wife” as we were traveling home from vacation, but my coworker Katie went in my stead and was kind enough to write down her thoughts about the movie for us. Thanks, Katie!
If you’re anything like me, I’m sure at one time or another you’ve wondered what it would be like to travel through time. Imagine traveling to the future and having some of your biggest questions answered, or traveling to the past and reliving some of the defining moments of your life. It was this sense of curiosity that led me to read “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” when Jen suggested it. I remember being utterly confused the first part of the book as I tried to wrap my brain around Henry’s (the main character) ability to time travel and simultaneously be with his past or future self. I was captivated by the love story that developed as Claire met Henry when she was a little girl and carried that love with her as an adult, never knowing when she would finally meet Henry in the present. I remember being unable to put the book down and not wanting the book to end.
So I was thrilled when I found out the book had been made into a movie. I couldn’t wait to relive the story. For the most part I was not disappointed. The movie portrayed the complexity of two characters in love and yet torn apart by something that was beyond their control. You could sense Henry’s as he was unable to control when he time traveled, how long he would be gone for, and where he would go. This anguish was only compounded by his love for Claire and his desire to make a life with her. We see Claire from the time she’s a child falling in love with Henry, this strange man who comes and goes from the future. In the movie one of my favorite characters was Claire as a young child with her independent spirit and inquisitive nature. I laughed out loud during a scene where the young Claire gets upset when she finds out that Henry from the future is married and tells him in all seriousness that she thought that Henry would marry her. As a viewer I relished in knowing what young Claire did not yet know; she would marry Henry.
I must admit that the movie left me wanting more story development. The first thirty minutes or so of the film seemed so rushed. Within the first couple of scenes we meet Henry and Claire in the present and before we know it they’re married. Their history isn’t introduced until later in the film, which would make it a little confusing for people who hadn’t read the book. I missed seeing more about their families and the different ways that their parents and relationship with their parents (or lack there of) shaped them as adults. One tender moment in the film is when Henry travels to the past and is able to have a conversation with his mom, who is dead in the present. Again, you could sense the character’s anguish as he loved someone so deeply only to lose them to death. The theme of death comes around again as Henry has a preview of the future which foretells his own death. Once again he must come to terms with the fact that he will have to say goodbye to the ones he has allowed himself to love – Claire and Alba (his daughter). I really liked the last half of the movie and was a little disappointed as it felt like it ended just as it was really starting to get good. Overall I enjoyed the movie and it left me wanting to go back to read the book for all of the details that were not included in the movie.