The Time Machine
“There are really four dimensions, three which we call the three planes of Space, and a fourth, Time.” ― H.G. Wells, The Time Machine (1895).
The Time Machine by Herbert George Wells is a simple tale of a man who undertakes a journey into the future. Considered as one of the novels that spawned a sub-genre in science fiction, The Time Machine, in its heart, is a commentary on the social structure in Victorian England. The book uses the concept of time travelling as a plot device and doesn’t delve into paradoxes or loops. The ‘unnamed’ Time Traveller uses his machine to go into the future and spends most of his time in the year 802,701 AD, where he finds that human race has split into two; the childlike ‘Eloi’ and the ape-like creature ‘Morlocks’.
The book also has few pages dedicated to the “end of Earth” where the Sun is a massive, dying star. In all, the traveler acts as a silent observer in the book.
I committed the unpardonable mistake of watching “The Time Machine”- the movie (2002- starring Guy Pearce) before reading the book. The disclaimer is important because the movie has pretty much skewed my perception of the storyline in the book. What’s worse is that I have seen the movie in bits and pieces and so, the plot is a complete muddle in my head. Not the book- that is pretty simple to follow, but the movie.
Guy Pearce’s time travel coupled with a tragic love story mixed with some sort of epiphany in the end. The movie has received much hate; with Rotten Tomatoes giving it a paltry 29%. And Metacritic rating it at 42%. In my opinion, the 2002 movie has a different take on the subject and so it’s diversion from the main plot should have been overlooked.
Pick up The Time Machine if you are into science-fiction and like abstract endings.
“It sounds plausible enough tonight, but wait until tomorrow. Wait for the common sense of the morning.” ― H.G. Wells, The Time Machine.
Another disclaimer, I recently saw “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” as well as “The Time Traveler’s Wife”, so, my brain is still trying to warp itself around the different plots. Of course, The Curious Case of BB isn’t a time travel movie because the protagonist doesn’t travel through time, he is dealing with a sad case of reverse aging.The movies deal with our complex relationship with time. Any person travelling in different direction will find himself lonely and desperate.
Another note- Guy Pearce also stars in the 2014 Australian dystopian drama “The Rover”. Watch this drama for gripping performance by Pearce and Robert Pattinson.