A new film adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, directed by Ava DuVermay, takes audiences on what amounts to be a bumpy ride through time and space.
About the film
Four years after her father’s mysterious disappearance, fourteen-year-old Meg (Storm Reid) grows weary, as bullying from classmates and gossip from teachers about dad’s whereabouts, pushes the once top student down the rabbit hole of low self-esteem and poor grades.
After her parents, both NASA astrophysicists, remarkably discover the ability to travel through space and time— her father accidentally transports himself somewhere out into the universe.
Though his absence has taken its toll, her mother, Kate (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), believes they will find him one day, and does her best to hold her family together, until an odd visit by Mrs. Whatsit, a quirky godmother-like figure (Reese Witherspoon), hints to a lead to finding Dr. Murry, (Chris Pine in the role of Meg’s Dad) which restores the young family’s hope.
After meeting Mrs. Whatsit, we are also introduced to Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling), who talks only via famous quotes, and lastly Mrs. Which, (Oprah Winfrey), a 20 foot tall angelic, mother-figure who alongside Meg, Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) as her precocious little brother and Calvin (Levi Miller) Meg’s next door neighbor and low-key crush, agree to embark on an out-of-this-world adventure to find Dr.Murry.
What you need to know
Breathtaking CGI sceneries where gravity, time and space meld together in flights of fancy, were dazzling, and so was a fantastic cameo by Zach Galifianakis, in the role of Happy Medium. But the purpose for visiting some of the far-off worlds is not quite clear. Seems just as we become invested in the where and why of the scene, the scenery changes and off we are to another world.
To her credit, Stormy Reid in the role of 14-year-old Meg is captivating. Yet, there’s a sense that the arc of her role could have been better explored beyond a fight scene with a tentacle-swarming entity representing all that is dark in the world.
If it all sounds a bit “helter-skelter,” that’s because it is.
Despite A-List talent, an award-winning director and a story loved the world over, this new film adaptation just doesn’t travel well, leaving audiences with far too many questions and no meaningful answer.
While the film makes for a perfectly innocent trip to the movies, your 8 to 13-year-old, will far better benefit from reading the classic tale from the comfort of home and letting their imaginations truly run wild.