review of a love that stands to the test during OCS

DEFAULT “RANDOM” MODE

Great feelings and time jumping, here is a program that has proven itself. At the cinema, at remote registers, we can tell Effect on Butterfliesbut also Kate and Leopold. On the series side, this is it Outlander which imposes itself spontaneously, among a few others. The Wife of the Time Traveler is now available in its two forms, with the exception of the literary support that gave birth to it.

The story is than that of Henry (Theo James) and Clare (Rose Leslie), soulmates whose fate is happy to separate and reunite. The reason is simple: Henry is affected by a genetic anomaly that pushes him, without warning, at different stages of his life and sometimes even further. A situation that forces them to live their relationship in turmoil, to the point where Henry meets Clare when she is in her thirties and she is celebrating her eighth birthday.

One day her prince will arrive … and sooner than she thought

The originality of the story lies above all in its dispersion. By blurring the chronology of events, the series allows itself to juxtapose fundamentally conflicting scenes in terms of tone and intensity. For example Henry who falls for Clare’s eccentric sister then finds himself released next time somewhere in town, at the mercy of a gang of bikers. At the very least and always thanks for editing, The Wife of the Time Traveler connecting one light sequence to another more seriously so that they come out of each other from an emotional point of view.

There is only one way to survive in a river, be a rock“, by Claire, who tries to describe her relationship with Henry. The line may be (a little) ridiculous, but it nicely captures the opposite nature of the two characters. It also clearly refers to the position of spectators trying to hold on to the branches of a scenery that spreads to the four winds So yes, we’re happy to look forward to the seams between the scenes, but the process is likely to run out of steam, when it is not simply poured into useless repetition.

The Time Traveler's Wife: photo, Theo JamesBut where are you? Not there, but you’re not there! But where are you?

LOVE IS GUARANTEED TO BE HEALED

Where the series could be, is not to betray the original work, but to dig into the more subtle passage, by repeatedly maneuvering and restraining both characters. Meet Clare at a very young age, Henry knows he needs to take her under his wing and help her become his bride. Only, she herself is “shaped” by Clare who, in turn, will lead her to maturity to be the one she loves. This is the famous “chicken or egg” paradox.. Who came first? Or in this case, which of the two takes precedence over changing the other?

In a somewhat poignant scene, Clare returns to the clearing where she meets Henry and finds that the formerly idyllic place is now just an open-air squat. A frustration quickly disappears when Henry shows up with the look and personality of the man he has always dreamed of: short hair and a smooth voice (yes, sometimes that’s because of a few things). As they kissed, the camera got up and swept the space, magically returning to the pristine Eden of last year.

The Wife in Time Traveler: photo, Rose Leslie, Theo JamesGlade of Temptation

Basically, everyone bows to each other’s desires by agreeing with each other, with the assurance of acting in the name of love. So there is a dark and interesting material to study about the question of freedom of choice. Alas, the series just scratches the surface, the characters are limited to exclusively positive values ​​or effects, with one or two exceptions. That some Internet users or professional critics are offended by the unrealistic subversive nature of this love story is, all too cleverly, misunderstanding.

True, an adult is closer to a child, but their relationship evolves without any kind of ambiguity until Clare grows up. Of course, it’s hard to tell any attraction when more than twenty years have separated them, but with caution, the series puts itself in the way. Fortunately, some scenes dedicated to Henry’s mother (Kate Siegel, who we like to see more often) are shaken by a sad breath.

The Time Traveler’s Wife: photo, Kate SiegelSimple is best

OUR LIFE AS A VIEW

If there’s one parameter that the series takes advantage of with intelligence and humor, it’s the retroactive look that the characters have in their past experiences. The creator, Steven Moffat, chose to shift the action of the novel, which took place from the 60s to the early 2000s, to prefer a more contemporary anchorage. This modernization allowed him to frame the plot on a device he updated at each stage: Henry and Clare, older, recorded themselves in front of the camera and commented on their story.

A welcome distancing because it considers the drama that always happens to the characters: wanting to pursue a general view of events rather than follow them.. This is all the more true for Henry who, parachuted in time, faces other versions of himself, at different ages, to the point that it becomes, like his “double”, the helpless spectator of his own life. And to introduce this multiplicity to the screen, the series uses cues, constantly expanded, in the type: “He was 8 years old and 24 years old and 32 years old and 40 years old“.

The Time Traveler's Wife: photo, Theo JamesWhich of the two do you think is more immature? Be careful, there is a trap

But there again, even if some find it fun, the series always gets us in hand and ultimately leaves some gray spots. Only a few of the hidden images, including the very confusing ones, materializing two legs cut into knots, come to awaken the imagination. Otherwise, dialogues take turns to explain the rules of time travel and evacuate the aura of mystery.

Also note that this season 1 only covers part of the novel. A double-edged choice if it allows a more significant improvement over the original frame, and especially on the part concerned, but also favors unnecessary repetitions. As it stands, Theo James and Rose Leslie are very good and their chemistry at least partially compensates for the writing weaknesses. Definitely because we expect a better sequel, if there is a season 2.

Season 1 of The Time Traveler’s Wife will be available in full on OCS from June 20, 2022

The Wife of the Time Traveler: French Poster

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