I remember reading the book “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle. I was in the fourth grade. I couldn’t tell you now what it was about even if I tried. Which is funny, because watching the newest movie adaptation of the book made me feel like a kid again.
Directed by Ava DuVernay, the film follows Meg Murray (portrayed by Storm Reid) and her little brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) as they embark on a universal adventure to find their missing father – Dr. Murray (Chris Pine), a scientist who studies interdimensional travel through time and space.
Meg is a bit of an outcast as she copes with her father’s absence. With a child genius for a brother and a crew of mean girls launching petty attacks, Meg is missing the usual light in her life.
But with the help of supernatural entities, Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) and Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey), Meg, Charles Wallace and Meg’s classmate Calvin (Levi Miller) travel through the universe to a different planet and fight the forces of darkness controlled by an evil “It.”
The first thing that stood out to me in this film was the costuming. Everything was beautiful. Oprah’s makeup was stunning and everything the Mrs. Ws wore was creative and specific to their characters. Every time they “tessered” to another planet, their costumes, hair and makeup also changed. It was so fun!
I also loved how Kaling’s character spoke only in quotations. She quotes Shakespeare, Gandhi and other notable figures throughout the film.
There is a distasteful amount of predictability to the movie, but it’s forgivable since this is a family/children’s film. Based on my overview so far, you may be able to guess how it ends.
But it doesn’t make the journey there any less fun to watch.
In the film, Meg is the most human and relatable character. She goes through the usual pre-teen struggles while dealing with the loss of her father. Her reactions to the strange people they meet and places they go are realistic. She isn’t quick to trust, but she keeps an open mind throughout the rescue mission.
Charles Wallace is adorable. Who doesn’t love a child prodigy? The relationship between brother and sister in this film is one that most parents dream of and is actually believable. Charles Wallace displays enough ingenuity and childlike wonder to balance Meg’s skepticism and defiance, so they made a great pair.
I could have gone without Calvin. He serves as a sort of love interest for Meg, but he was completely transparent otherwise. His drive for befriending Meg was a secret crush and a yearning for acceptance he was deprived of by his own father. But honestly, I just didn’t care about him enough. That sounds harsh, but he could have been excluded, and the story wouldn’t have changed.
Some parts of the movie may be a bit confusing even for adults. I didn’t exactly follow what a tesseract or the act of tessering was – sure, it’s traveling to other planets, going through time and space to a world far from our own. But how?
Dr. Murray said he wanted to travel the universe with his mind. It’s science fiction, so there’s no real (or right) answer, but I was more confused than I should have been when the characters walked through a blur in the air and onto another planet. I can only picture kids trying to wrap their heads around it, but maybe it’s inventive enough to not matter.
I was entertained throughout the film, considering it’s aimed at children. It was imaginative, colorful and had just the right sprinkle of science fiction.
I loved traveling with Meg and the crew as they explored the wonders and perils of the universe. They showed the sacrifices made in the name of scientific discovery and the power of the mind, light and love.
“A Wrinkle in Time” is in theaters now.