A Wrinkle in Time – Review

Genre  Fantasy, Adventure
Directed by Ava DuVernay
Starring Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Storm Reid, Levi Miller, Deric McCabe, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Peña, Zach Galifianakis
Released on February 26, 2018 (El Capitan Theatre), March 9, 2018 (United States)
Duration  109 minutes
Flixxpanda Rating 5/10
Channel Netflix

Perhaps a younger me would have loved and adored A Wrinkle in Time because that seems to be the core audience for this film, young pre-teen kids.

A Wrinkle in Time falls into the category of science-fiction films. Except it falls short in comparison to good sci-fi films because the science is very baseless so it doesn’t feel realistic and while the effects clearly cost money, they were a bit too over the top to watch. The overly bright colors and bubblegum feel of the movie, where they never delve too deep into anything dark, keeping it light and sugar-coated ends up feeling fake.

The movie is based on Madeline L’Engle’s 1962 novel of the same name. But if you’ve read the book you will be severely unimpressed. The book is a masterpiece but to capture it on film is understandably difficult, however, the final product falls short of anything even close to the novel.

A Wrinkle in Time was not a success at the box office and did not do well considering the extremely high budget of the movie. The plot has numerous holes and seems very loopy. It’s just not enjoyable for anyone over the age of fourteen.

The movie is about thirteen-year-old middle school student Meg Murry (Storm Reid) who isn’t coping well with the disappearance of her father, Alex (Chris Pine). Meg and her mum, Kate believe he solved the question of humanity’s existence (okay, wow). They think he was teleported to another world. This already seems unbelievable with how the characters describe the situation.

Meg’s precocious adopted younger brother, Charles Wallace brings in Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) into the family house where she tells them about the ‘tesseract’, some kind of space travel Alex was working on.

We are further introduced to Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) and Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey) who along with Mrs. Whatsit seem to make up some sort of holy trinity. They bestow gifts upon Meg during the end of the movie and in general seem to be there for comedic effect and to just aid the storyline. But the actors who play them seem to be miscast because it just feels like they’re reading the lines out, making the movie dull and uninteresting. At least Reese Witherspoon who transforms into a giant lettuce along the way is a pleasure to watch and slightly lifts the movie out of its dreary monotony but watching Oprah (who I consider an icon) simply read her lines out is painful.

Meg’s classmate Calvin O’ Keefe (Levi Miller) joins her and Charles as the three embark on an adventure to find Meg’s dad. There’s also some sort of strange shadowy force of evil named “IT” that the holy trinity seems scared of. Apparently, IT wants to take over the universe.

Their adventure leads them to ethereal new planets and it’s all very cool to watch across the big screen because of the crazy amounts of CGI but it becomes a little annoying after a while.

A Wrinkle in Time ends exactly how you’d expect Disney to end a movie, with a happy ending. Meg saves her dad and everybody makes it back to earth. Everyone becomes better versions of themselves, understanding their flaws and choosing to be better. It’s all very underwhelming, just don’t watch too closely or you’ll be blinded by the CGI or fall into the plot-holes. Other than that you’ll be fine.

There are clearly positive messages about the power of love and self-introspection but I just couldn’t buy into it. However, what I did appreciate, was the diversity of the characters. Women of color in lead roles proves we’re heading to a better society. Even the director, Ava DuVernay is a woman of color. A Wrinkle in Time became the first live-action film with a nine-digit budget to be directed by a woman of color. Also, Ava DuVernay became the first African-American woman to direct a film that earned at least 100$ million domestically. The messages of female empowerment are clear here, which I adore.

Video credit – YouTube

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