Posted in entertainment, movies
August 28, 2010

Behind on the times

I just saw The Time Traveler’s Wife on HBO. TheBoy and I had both read it, and were eager to see it- but the reviews were so middling that we decided not to see it in theaters.

One thing we were agreed on was that it was a really difficult book to adapt. The pacing of the book relied on being able to switch between Claire and Henry’s lives, jumping through his life and hers to weave the story. The movie itself chose to follow Henry’s life from start to finish- when the book mostly followed Claire’s chronologically. (If you click to read more, I’m assuming you saw the movie)

While it made for a decent narrative, losing Claire’s POV made it lose a lot of the heart of the story. With Henry jumping around, you needed more of Claire to ground it- but that would take a miniseries, not a theatrical movie.

The book ended with Claire as an old woman, seeing Henry for the last time. Probably the one scene that TheBoy was interested in seeing them adapt. And they changed the ending! I understand why- the story was being told from Henry’s POV, so taking us too far into Claire and Alba’s life afterwards would feel odd.

Not a great movie, but ultimately the fault wasn’t on the actors (though I’m still not sold on Eric Bana as Henry). It was just a hard book to condense into a coherent movie. The book thrived on its unconventional narrative, but the movie felt disjointed when made conventional.

Not bad to watch on HBO, but I won’t buy the DVD.

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