“A Wrinkle in Time” stars Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Peña, Zach Galifianakis, and Chris Pine. Released on March 9, 2018, the film is about a young girl who sets out on a mind-bending journey to save her father from a sinister force.
The film is directed by Ava DuVernay, who also directed films such as Selma and 13th. It is based on the 1962 novel of the same name by Madeleine L’Engle. Yes, my fellow readers, I am officially back from my week-long vacation, and I am ready to tackle some more movies. After celebrating the huge success of Marvel’s Black Panther back in February, the Disney team is looking at garnering the same type of success again in their reimagining of L’Engle’s young-adult book. Clearly, this is their first attempt at bringing the source material to the big screen because back in 2003, there was a made-for-television film of the same name that was produced by Walt Disney Television. Obviously, I haven’t seen that version nor have I read the book it is based on. So, this film would be my first experience with this type of story. So far, it has done decently well in showcasing the all-star cast as well as the fact that it became the first film with a $100 million budget to be directed by a woman of color, which is Ava DuVernay. Now that it has finally been released, it’s time to see if this talented group of people can pull this off.
The film follows the same storyline as the source material, in which a young girl named Meg Murry (Reid) journeys into the fabric of time and space to rescue her father (Pine), who mysteriously disappeared without a trace. One of the things that left me feel appreciated was the film's messages. Much of the film is basically a huge CGI-filled adventure that's as shiny as a bag full of diamonds, but it's mostly about light over darkness. Much like her experiences with her previous works, DuVernay has a personal goal to express her feelings towards the world we live in and showcases how we can make it better through the art of filmmaking. Her determination towards that goal is not only completely recognizable, but also well-constructed in a way that kids and young adults can easily understand. Unfortunately, everything else that made this film possible wasn't able to capture the same amount of imagination as its themes. The story has a usual "good vs evil" plot that's fairly predictable and unexpectedly rushed during a few scenes. It's suitable for kids to follow along in the midst of some mildly creepy scenarios, but for people who are expecting more out of this film because of the director, it's a minor step backwards for the Disney crew. While the characters weren't anything too special in terms of depth, the entire cast was able to show some effort in their portrayals, especially Winfrey as Mrs. Which and Reid as Meg. Even though Winfrey's role was pretty limited, she did a nice job in portraying a character with a good heart. As for Reid, I thought she did all right. Her dialogue was a bit flat at times, but as a whole, she was likable enough to take charge in her leading role. Reese Whitherspoon as Mrs. Whatsit was pretty average at best. There were moments where she tried to provide some laughs, but the results didn't quite hit the right marks. All that matters to me is that she tried her best. Reid's character was accompanied by her younger brother, Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe), and a fellow student named Calvin O'Keefe, played by Levi Miller, who is mostly known for his role in 2015's Pan. The latter is one of those moments that left me feel tossed on whether the inclusion of this character is necessary or not, mostly due to how they developed him. While the plot falls short on what they're trying to accomplish, there's no denying the fact that the visuals are stunning and imaginative. It's almost like stepping into a child's dream without actually stepping inside a child's dream. Also, the costume designs that were made for the astral travelers were very colorful and unique to their characteristics.
Overall, "A Wrinkle in Time" is a visual treat that appropriately expresses its themes of light triumphing over darkness. However, the amount of wrinkles that were present in its plot and characters prevented it from being a breathtaking cinematic experience. I appreciate their hard work in putting this film together, even though the final result wasn't exactly what people are hoping for, and I'm honestly looking forward to see what DuVernay is attempting to do in her next project. If you're familiar with the source material or if your child wants to see something other than Black Panther or Peter Rabbit, this one is a suitable watch.