A Chicago man has a strange genetic disorder that makes him involuntarily travel through time. This film follows the unimaginably complicated romance he has with a woman who he has known since she was a little girl and they never get to age chronologically together, and sometimes share different memories of the past (which might be the future for the other…I know…I told you its complicated).
Based on the extremely popular book of the same name, this film sometimes seems to be more an exercise in adapting a very challenging screenplay than it is an engrossing romance. Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana do glow when interacting, as they make the love their characters share convincing and helps us stay with the story when the time line gets a bit convoluted. Meanwhile, the dialogue doesn’t do them any favours and occasionally bogs things down.
The dynamic of the love story rallies back and forth between the two lover’s gaze. The tone of the film changes depending on whose eyes we are seeing it through. Sometimes this is represented visually as the vibrant colours flood the images of young love blossoming while dark grays and sickly greens find their way into the frame when troubles with alcohol and even death creep in.
The book is a complicated but rewarding read, and a fine science fiction twist to a modern love story (where time travel steps in as a metaphor for many of life’s problems). Fans of the book will see a great effort made to honour the book, while others shall see a decent effort to piece together a different sort of romantic story.
Widescreen 2:40:1. As mentioned before, the lighting and colouring of the picture reflects the mood of the characters, and all are represented in fine quality. The darker scenes can get a bit muddy but the contrasting bright scenes display a great amount of clarity in the picture quality.
Dolby Digital 5.1 in English and French (subtitles offered in the same). Everything is well-balanced in all of the speakers, sound effects and score alike.
The Time Traveler’s Wife – Love Beyond Words: A Lengthy but dedicatedly thorough look at the making of this film. Everyone who is interviewed speaks without hammy, mock-conviction, but instead with genuine appreciation for the source material, and more prominently, each other’s efforts and talents.
Seeing something like this makes me think that a commentary track would have been very insightful and therefore sorely missed on this DVD release.
I always appreciate something different being offered to an over-saturated romantic film market, and I appreciate it all the more when some talent goes into it. From the same writer w2ho brought us Ghost and Jacob’s Ladder, comes another view of what it means to lok into the normal world from a supernatural position. Just as his previous stories brought us out of the world of the living, here we see a man who steps outside the boundaries of time. Granted, he only adapted the story, and not created it, but he made for a good choice for the creators of this film, much like its viewers, needed to see things differently than the masses to work out something special.