Thursday, October 20, 2011

Time Traveler's Wife

By s. Thursday, October 20, 2011 , , , , , , ,
(107 min, 2009)
Director: Robert Schwentke
Writers: Bruce Joel Rubin (screenplay), Audrey Niffenegger (novel)
Stars: Eric Bana, Rachel McAdams and Ron Livingston

You pull me through time

Confusion never stops, closing walls and ticking clocks
Come back and take you home, I could not stop, that you now know
Come out upon my seas, curse missed opportunities (am I),
A part of the cure, or am I part of the disease
You are
And nothing else compares,
Oh no nothing else compares,
And nothing else compares
You are
Home, home, where I wanted to go
- "Clocks", Coldplay

I love romances with a bit of science fiction in them, like Vanilla Sky, Solaris, The Fountain and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. All of those are in my top 25. Why? Well for one, those are exceptional movies. Also - I believe love is a miracle, something that cannot be explained. That kind of magic, deserves more magic around it, hence on screen it conquers death, it conquers science, it conquers time. That is not unusual, love can do all those things. It is the only thing, in fact, that can.
I was very hyped to see this film, the trailer looked incredibly emotional and I take so much sick pleasure in watching romances. The key to the success is to have chemistry between actors - lovely Rachel McAdams and very handsome Eric Bana definitely had a lot of it. Bana is playing a man who travels through time, back and forth, to see the woman he loves. The movie is incredibly bittersweet and has many powerful scenes, I even shed a tear on certain of them and that's a sign of a good love story.

The sci-fi element is basically a background to the story, it creates another obstacle in already difficult subject of love and all that drama. I am eternally confused about time travel stories so I didn't even try to understand how it works in this one, instead I just kept watching. After all, ultimately it's all about the feeling itself and the characters.

Bana is incredibly talented, I knew this since I saw “Troy” - actor who can create actual performance in a movie that bad is really a great one. And Bana can truly be anyone – cold soldier in “Black Hawk Down”, villain in “Star Trek” or cheating husband in “Funny People” - to this day I cannot believe the stuff that came out of his mouth in this one. Here he is lovestruck Henry and he fits the role perfectly. He seems like such a nice person so I prefer seeing him as hero not as a villain.

Rachel McAdams is too lucky – in recent years she appeared in truly wonderful movies - “The Notebook”, “State of Play” and of course “Sherlock Holmes” - even though I see her as huge miscast in that one, she still managed not to disappoint. And she is really lucky with the actors who play her love interests. Maybe that's why I cannot bring myself to like her. She is good and believable, but she lacks that magical spark which all great actress have. With Blanchett and Swinton I watch the movie because of them. I don't think it will ever be the case with McAdams for me.
The movie features perfect song for it “Clocks” by Coldplay and oh man, did they screw up on this one. The final meadow scene where Clare and Henry are running towards each other would have been so much more powerful if it had featured the climax of “Clocks”. I love music in movies, I often wonder which song would fit the scene best, the only thing that can make certain scenes more beautiful then they already are is a good choice of song. But even without it, it's still a lovely scene. And that great tragedy – In the novel the movie is based on, Claire spent her whole life waiting for Henry to see him again. And he knew precisely how many times he will get to see her. Not only was their life chopped to pieces, they kept waiting for more, knowing that there is a great chance they will never see each other again. Even if Henry tells her not to wait for him, she will. The only worse tragedy than falling in love is being unable to spend your life with the person you most want to.

The visual side of the movie fits the story well, the music by Mychael Danna, which was criticized by many, actually plays out nicely in the background. And the structure of the story is not very confusing – you won't be lost, even if like me – you don't know much about time travel.
The film is not as good as the ones I mentioned in the beginning, but it is very moving, beautiful and it features fine acting. What more to expect from love story?

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