Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Time Traveler's Wife

Some were asking, given my fascination with time travel, how is it that I haven't blogged about it?

Well, for a start - I have somehow instinctively avoided the book when it came out, and never even bothered about the subsequent movie. Then one fine day I found the DVD in the Library and decided to watch it.

**********SPOILERS AHEAD**************
As I had kind of guessed the time travel part is just a convenient plot device. Henry (Eric Bana) has this weird "genetic disorder" where he time travels though not by his will. He first meets Clare (Rachel MacAdams) when she is six - and with the perfect innocence of childhood Clare has no trouble believing Henry is a time traveler. He keeps visiting her on and off and they share their first kiss when she is 18. However, from Henry's perspective he meets Clare for the first time only when she is 21, Clare is totally prepared for this visit while Henry is totally bewildered. I found this a little hard to analyze -how come Henry doesn't remember any of his previous visits - till I figured out that it is a much older Henry that had visited Clare before. Another confusing aspect is the story is told from Clare's chronological timeline rather than Henry's - so that makes it really hard to know who the "real" Henry is.

Clare undergoes several miscarriages and it is suggested (though not proven) - that the fetuses have time traveled. However, Eric and Clare eventually carry a daughter Alba to full-term. Alba is also a time-traveler though unlike Henry she can control the traveling quite effectively.

What I hated the most was Henry reappearing even after he is shot dead. Logically there is no person - so how can he time travel? Another illogical bit was that the same set of clothes are left for Henry always. (When he time travels it is without his clothes so he needs to find some clothes where ever he happens to land up. So he requests Clare when he had met her when she was a child to leave a set of her Dad's clothes for him.)

Finally, even if this were meant to be a "love without borders" kind of love story - it didn't turn out to be that compelling.


  1. I havent seen the movie and dont think I'll bother (not a fan of Eric Bana)... but I thought the book was pretty good - if for nothing else, the storyline. What an imagination - despite the few niggles... but then if you can swallow the camel of time-travel, swallowing the gnat of "being-shot-and-returning" isnt that hard! :)

  2. Perhaps a lot that was in the book was missed out in the movie!

    Okay - I know that time travel is a fantasy - but when you begin to apply physics and maths and all that "space-time continuim" stuff to it - it kind of at least begins to be theoretically possible. Think of it like an an object and that object moves forward or backward on a graph - but if that object doesn't exist there is nothing there that can move.

    That way I liked "Ghost" - nicely done!

  3. haha... you sound like my husband, justifying what's not even real! :) He gets quite passionate defending the theory of time-travel!

  4. Shyam :-)
    Tell him that he has a staunch ally in me!