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‘The time traveler’s wife’, an uncomfortable science fiction romance

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A naked man appears in the back garden of a six-year-old girl’s house and tells her that in the future she will be his wife. Thus begins for Claire the love story of her life in The time traveler’s wifethe adaptation of Steven Moffat (Doctor Who) from the novel audrey niffeneggerwhich arrives as one of the outstanding premieres of hbo max.

I imagine that the problems inherent in the starting point of this romantic and fantastic story were discussed in the first decade of the 2000s, when the novel was published, but seen on screen in 2022 it is inevitable to feel uncomfortable and creepy in the face of that situation. Although there is caution in the direction and a touch of humor in the dialogue to take the edge off and show self-awareness, it is impossible to watch that scene and ignore the fact that an adult establishes a secret and continuing relationship with a girl who grows up in love with him.

The roles of Henry and Claire, played by Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams in the 2009 film adaptation, correspond here as adults to Theo James (Divergent) Y Rose Leslie (game of thrones, the good fight). He is a librarian with a genetic condition that makes him move in his timeline without his being able to control it. A temporary paradox of those that Moffat likes so much, so adult Henry will be the one who instructs Henry as a child about survival tricks during his travels and the rules of his universe.

The day Claire met her future husband in 'The Time Traveler's Wife'.

The day Claire met her future husband in ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’.

Conveniently, none of those rules prevents it from coinciding with itself, and they are as follows: the trip can take place at any time, and its absence from the present can last for minutes, days, or months. The objects and clothes you are wearing do not travel, everything stays on the ground when it fades. Henry appears naked (with his muscles smeared with oil) in the place and time to which he travels, as he arrives with nothing, he has had to learn to steal and fight in order to survive.

Meeting himself and Claire non-chronologically, and stealing and fighting in the places he visits is basically what he does on those trips. There doesn’t seem to be any additional special purpose, beyond telling a love story cbuilt patchwork and marked by absence and determinism. Because when adult Henry and Claire meet for the first time, he had never seen her and she had been waiting for him all her life, since he told her that in the future she would be her wife.

Time passes in a strange way and I don’t know if we saw that as something romantic two decades ago, but in addition to the alarm signals for groomingwhen Henry traveled to Claire’s childhood to tell her that he came from their joint future, stole his free will: She had the brain of a child and was told that her destiny was written. If you are fans of the novel or if you manage to get past the red lights, the episodes are directed by David Nutter (Emmy winner for Game of Thrones Y blood brothers), Y Rose Leslie is lovely. Theo James’s wigs, not much really, but maybe it was intentional to distract us and make us think about other things.

‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’ premieres May 16 on HBO Max.

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