I will admit that I am not the most avid reader. I prefer to watch a movie over reading a book, given the option. Often, when movies are born from books, I only indulge in the cinematic version of the story. Back in 1997, in 8th grade, I recall having to read A Wrinkle in Time. Either I was a terrible reader, or the book was just beyond my comprehension level because I do remember that it made absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. Honestly, I doubt I put effort into understanding it.
Fast forward to 2018, and I see a trailer for the film adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time, and I get kind of excited to maybe (hopefully) have a shot at understanding a story that left me so confused 21 years ago. To adapt a screenplay from a book, extensive research would be necessary to make a good cinematic story. Unlike 8th-grade me, the filmmakers did their homework, and I finally understood the story!
A Wrinkle in Time presented an intriguing time-traveling, universe-hopping romp dealing with kids on a quest to find their father. He is sucked into another dimension within said universe due to a dark presence known as “The It.” The flick loosely explains time travel for all of a minute before soldiering on with the ultimate quest to undo the harm done by The It. If the time-traveling element becomes confusing, do what I did and enjoy the story without overthinking.
When it comes to the acting element, it is atrocious across the board. Both youth and adults came across as cardboard. This tends to take you away from the movie because of poorly delivered lines. With an A-list cast like this picture has, I’m blaming the director. It also doesn’t help that Mindy Kaling’s character, Mrs. Who, speaks entirely in quotes during the first two-thirds of the story. She would say the quote and then give the author of the quote ALONG WITH the author’s birthplace. It may have seemed like a quirky character trait in book form, but it’s just annoying in movie form.
Visually, the feature is stunning. With more vibrant colors than your brain can process and flashy intricate costumes jam-packed onto the silver screen, you’re taken on an hour and forty-nine-minute acid trip. The production design is second to none. This picture is worth an IMAX screening, as the camera pans across beautifully colored fields to a frighteningly chaotic and dark self-uprooting forest.
Speaking of the darkness, although the movie is rated PG, I would think twice about taking a kid to this film. It gets dark and scary sometimes, especially the scenes dealing with “The It.”
The main message of A Wrinkle in Time is (to quote The Beatles like Mrs. Who would) “All you need is love.” – Paul McCartney, Britain. While the movie was just so-so, I would still recommend going out and giving it a shot. Though the story of the acting may not blow you away, the visuals will.
Rated: PG (for thematic elements and some peril)
Director: Ava DuVernay
Screenwriter: Jennifer Lee
Starring: Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling, Reese Witherspoon, Storm Reid, Gugu Mbatha Raw, Chris Pine, Zach Galifianakis, Andre Holland, Levi Miller, Deric McCabe, Bellamy Young, Rowan Blanchard, Will McCormack, Michael Pena
Genre: Animation, Family
From visionary director Ava DuVernay comes Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” an epic adventure based on Madeleine L’Engle’s timeless classic which takes audiences across dimensions of time and space, examining the nature of darkness versus light and, ultimately, the triumph of love. Through one girl’s transformative journey led by three celestial guides, we discover that strength comes from embracing one’s individuality and that the best way to triumph over fear is to travel by one’s light.
Meg Murry is a typical middle school student struggling with issues of self-worth who wants to fit in. The daughter of two world-renowned physicists is intelligent and uniquely gifted, as is Meg’s younger brother, Charles Wallace, but she has yet to realize it for herself. Complicating matters is the mysterious disappearance of Mr. Murry, which has left Meg devastated and her mother brokenhearted. Charles Wallace introduces Meg and her classmate Calvin to three celestial beings (Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit, and Mrs. Who) who have journeyed to Earth to help search for their father, and together they embark on their formidable quest. Traveling via a wrinkling of time and space known as tessering, they are transported to worlds beyond their imagination where they must confront a powerful evil force. To return home to Earth, Meg must face the darkness within herself to harness the strength necessary to defeat the darkness rapidly enveloping the Universe.