Chances are if you haven't read the best-selling novel, written by American author Audrey Niffenegger, this film will leave you wondering what all the fuss was about. The Time Traveler's Wife stars Eric Bana as Henry DeTamble, a Chicago librarian whose propensity to time-travel involuntarily leads him to meet the love of his life, Clare Abshire (Rachel McAdams). The complicated nature of Henry's condition - which causes him to flit between the past, present and future without warning - sends Henry travelling back to 1977, where he first meets his future wife, aged six, when he is an adult, and to whom he returns throughout various periods of her early life. Niffenegger's novel, while centred on the unconventional relationship between Henry and Clare, also focuses on the paradoxes of time travel, and the notion of free will. Given the complexity of the novel, the move to film was always going to be a tough one. Directed by Robert Schwentke, Time Traveler is a glossy production, yet unsurprisingly loses much of its meaning in translation. Bana and McAdams are perfectly adequate as the ill-fated lovers, but despite their chemistry, the resulting effort is a tepid affair. Niffenegger's story is bleak and, regardless of the beautiful actors involved and great cinematography, Time Traveler makes for an altogether depressing experience. The strongest scene comes in the concluding chapter, which - although enough to bring a lump to your throat - is far less desolate than the ending provided by the book.
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