When I read the reviews, it claimed to be a movie about failed relationships and marriages. Something which highlighted the plight of the ‘wife’ in a relation where the husband is always gone. I expected a philosophical and metaphor wrapped take on the present age rat-race where marriages have become name-sake and extremely prone to divorces because of communication gaps and twisted priorities. A movie focusing on the woman’s woes (especially because of the name Time Traveler’s Wife). Instead, I watched the entire movie focus its sympathies and time on Henry – the husband and his strange and unfortunate genetic anomaly.
The movie continuously changes its focus from being the story of the wife to the time traveler’s. Henry’s whole life is showcased in a past-present-future tap dance throughout the 90 minutes. ‘His’ pathos of knowing what will happen in the future or going back in time (accidentally always) and seeing people he has lost, trying to change certain events; ‘His’ fears of having a child with the same genetic disorder and hence his sacrifice disectoy; ‘His’ love for his wife; ‘His’ fear and prescience of his death; ‘His’ travels to the future to meet his family even after his death etc. etc. The movie goes on with the ‘he’ factor.
The wife’s wait for the husband is highly neglected as there were hardly two scenes with her screaming (which appears childish and irrational before Eric Bana’s sober and mature expressions). Her total emotional breakdown and severe physical distress caused by the many miscarriages are almost an afterthought, barely receiving attention. Claire always appears as a child, who Henry is very protective of.
Time Traveler’s Wife, even with its curious genetic crisis as an opportunity to present a time transcending human life experience, fails to rise above a mushy love story.