Review | With tiring and unbalanced pace, ‘The Time Traveller’s Wife’ wastes its own potential

In the newest bet HBOthe famous science fiction novel ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’in Audrey Niffeneggerwins another audiovisual adaptation and brings Rose Leslie and Theo James in an interesting adventure that analyzes the ephemerality of time – or at least tries to do so. Behind the re-reading, none other than Steven Moffatthe genius behind the beloved series ‘Doctor Who’ and one of the most original creators of contemporary television, which is why we couldn’t help but be very excited for this different onslaught than what Moffat had already presented to us. However, contrary to what we imagined, the result goes against the tide of our expectations and plunges into a tiresome melodrama and a daring that doesn’t know where it wants to go.

The premise pulls well-known elements of the genre sci-fi and puts a twist that touches existentialism and the identity crisis, following in the footsteps of the original book. James plays Henry DeTamble, a young man who has an unexplained genetic anomaly that allows him to travel through time. However, this anomaly is not nearly a gift to be envied, as he has no control over when he will go to the past or the future or where he will arrive; the only truth is that, in the process, he loses his clothes and revisits or discovers moments of a life marked by turmoil, trauma and love – and all converging on Clare Abshire (Leslie), his foreshadowed wife who has been “promised” to him since birth. first time they see each other (Henry approaching forty and Clare only six).

Over the course of an endless journey, Henry guides himself to create certain rules he must abide by and how to make sure things don’t get out of hand, while Clare becomes increasingly involved with the mysterious man who appeared on the family’s lawn and became a great friend. As the episodes go on, Moffat shows great concern to ensure that the essence of the protagonists remains, expanding the depth of such distinct personalities and ensuring that the visual aesthetic is unified in favor of a complex emotional link that keeps us glazed. from beginning to end. The problem, however, spills over into the other aspects of the work – from the technical structure to the lack of solid explanations and a melancholy pedantry that goes from nowhere to nowhere.

James and Leslie do an admirable job and enjoy genuine on-screen chemistry, even if they don’t convince when playing younger versions of their respective characters. Anyway, the marks of maturity are clear enough for us to join the dots and understand the meaning of the utopian phrase “true love”, which crosses the immateriality of time and overcomes any obstacles. After all, the main objective of the production is, as contradictory as it may seem, not to be based on disbelief, but on an experience that is understandable to the public and that brings us some “liberating” message, so to speak.


Playing around with the concepts of time travel is not an easy task and it is not restricted to a middle ground (in other words, we either have legitimate successes or grandiose failures) – and that’s what happens with ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’. As you have the concise direction of David Nutteraward-winning director whose work includes the epic fantasy drama ‘Game of Thrones’, there is also an exhausting need for “reinvention of the wheel”, that is, a propensity to deliver more than one can get and frustrate those who expected something beyond what was delivered. Incredibly, the narrative, centered on just two personasbecomes so profuse and confusing that it is difficult to understand the real motivations until about halfway through the season, when the architected organism adjusts to be taken to the grand finale. Furthermore, the creative team loses focus several times in the chapters, channeling efforts into the shocking trauma Henry faced and leaving aside all the other aspects we would like to see.

with the exception of Kate Siegel, who returns for another role in his prolific career, the supporting cast suffers from the same ailment: Henry and Clare’s friends and family are stripped of vulnerability and stand as stereotypes for the greater good – that is, for the plot involving the couple is consecrated as a true love story. And, in moments of greater tension, the dramatic weight drains away like water due to an excessive, novelistic soundtrack that seems to dictate what we need to feel in a given sequence – without allowing us to draw our own conclusions.


The new HBO series had all the elements to fully work, but it wastes its own potential by not learning from the mistakes of the book itself and the forgettable film adaptation released in 2009. Unfortunately, the mistakes speak louder than the strengths – but , at the end of the day, fans of this well-known story should take some advantage and enjoy the unconventional relationship between Henry and Clare.

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