the last visible dog (intertext) wrote,
the last visible dog

The Time Traveller's Wife

I had popcorn and two pints of beer for dinner last night, because lidocafe and I went to see a movie, and then debriefed it (and of course discussed many other things) at a quite nice pub afterwards.

Those of you who have read and loved the book of The Time Traveller's Wife, as both lidocafe and I had, can be reassured that it's not a travesty. It is a respectful adaptation, trimming the book to its main storyline. The two leads are lovely, and we were also both particularly impressed with the children who played Claire as a child and Alba, Henry and Claire's daughter.

Although it captures the romantic core story of the book, it misses the novel's complexity. We lose the sense of how devastating Henry's condition is to him - in some ways it is treated almost like a joke or a novelty, not the real curse that it is. Some of the time paradoxes seemed more blatant - I don't remember if this was something that I just didn't notice in the book or if some of the changes made things worse. Obviously, the movie also loses the rich layers of intertextuality: art, poetry and music are both essential elements in the novel that are mentioned but not developed in the movie. On the other hand, the faithfulness of the adaptation makes the movie lose some identity or even coherence of its own as a movie; lidocafe makes the point in her own comment on it that those who had not read the book, as we had, might have found it confusing.

I am not sorry I saw it - it was a pleasant way to spend an evening. I did not feel that it was in any way a violation of the book; if anything, it reminded me what a lovely experience reading it had been and made me want to read it again. I'm not sure whether to recommend it to anyone who has NOT read the original, however - you might find the movie confusing and silly, and I would hate it to put you off reading the novel.
Tags: movie, review, time traveller's wife

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