In the early 1970s, a six year-old Henry survives a car accident wherein his mother died. The tension before the impact enabled him to travel back two weeks before the accident. He was then transported back into the present and witnessed the death of his mother before him. An older version of him tries to help Henry by explaining that he is indeed a time traveler. Henry finds himself living the past, present, and future at the same time. In 1991, Henry meets for the first time an art student named Clare.
Though she is delighted to see him, Henry was not able to recognize her. She later reveals that the future Henry time traveled and met the six year old Clare. They develop a relationship and Henry finally felt permanence in his life. Subsequently, the couple enters a married life which will be teemed with obstacles brought about by Henry’s condition. The film Time Traveler’s Wife employed time travel as one of main character’s flaw and strong point at the same time expressing the love story that attracts most of the women audience.
Its title and movie trailer just provides sufficient ideas that will make you think about it and finally watch the film. Considering the fact that it was primarily based on a book, it can be posited that the story was crammed and made to fit in the specific amount of time. This caused the movie to lose its richness which left the supporting characters with little exposure who may have contributed to the audience’s understanding and interpretation and to the story’s further development.
Moreover, the film focused too much on the love story of Henry and Clare and ignored the other characters’ involvement and influence on the main characters’ decision as opposed to the book. Critiques aside, the story was very poignant. It provided various themes such as the importance of time, love, family, marriage, sex and reality. Love was expressed and interpreted by the characters in various ways—physical lovemaking, Clare’s patience for waiting Henry from his travels, and sacrifices that each of them made in their pursuit of happiness.
It was emphasized that love is an important aspect of life that overcomes and recognizes no obstacles. The film also gives the audience the idea of struggle between life as something that is already written and pre-determined, and the capacity or power of our free will and choices. Sex and racism, to some extent, is depicted in the movie. It shows the importance of physical connection to the intimacy of the main characters. In addition, the character of Eric Bana criticized the Republicans and hunters.
Lastly, versions of reality were presented—that of Henry’s and of Clare’s. It gives the audience the impression that reality is subjective and thereby influenced by emotions. Time Traveler’s Wife can be considered as a carpe diem movie. Although it contains a timeline structure that is quite confusing for the viewers and disturbing scenes and language, the film earns the audience awe and tears by the story of two lovers who are victims of the unpredictable fate.