I had been looking forward to this adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s classic science fiction children’s book A Wrinkle in Time. Unfortunately, it looks as if the ideas and concepts in the novel could not be adapted to the big screen.
The film itself was not good. Yes, there are many who say that wonderful director Ava DuVernay took some big chances and really swung for the fences on this. While true, that should not be an excuse for creating something that was not good.
Meg (Storm Reid) is a young teen girl and she had a close relationship with her father (Chris Pine), working on big brain scientific stuff. When he goes missing, Meg becomes depressed and starts to change her mannerisms. She becomes angry and quick to respond. Four years pass and she is still getting into fights with the stereotypical mean girls at her school and trying to still protect her young adopted brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe).
When Meg is approached by some inter-dimensional witches who had already befriended Charles Wallace, she, her brother and tag along “boyfriend” Calvin (Levi Miller) go across the dimensions in search of her father, whom they believed was alive and lost.
Let’s start off with the strengths of this movie. Storm Reid is wonderful in the lead role. There is something original and fresh about her and she is very compelling. Her relationship with Chris Pine as her father and Levi Miller as Calvin were strengths of the movie.
Much of the movie was beautiful to look at. The CGI and the effects were lovely, for the most part.
Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling were fine as the witches Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who respectfully. However, there was not much for any of them to do. None of these characters had any real compelling reason to be involved in this story. Unfortunately, Oprah felt like a big time distraction as every time she was on the screen I was thinking that this was Oprah and looking at the funny things glued to her face.
Kaling was completely wasted as the only thing she seemed to be here for was to spout off quotes from the world. Even more of a waste was the use of Michael Peña, who was in the film for just a few minutes.
The story itself felt very flimsy. The scientific parts were brushed over which made a lot of what was happening feel confusing, and the story reduced itself to a very simplistic take on let’s find daddy and love vs. evil.
The antagonist is extremely underwhelming and we have no idea what it is supposed to be, except of course for evil. We do not know why this evil creature, known as It (not Pennywise, by the way) wants Meg to join him so badly.
Sadly, A Wrinkle in Time felt very long and, at time, boring. The movie is not long in comparison to some of the other blockbusters released these days, but it definitely felt longer than it was.
Maybe this is truly a book that is unfilmable and we should appreciate the attempt. There are good parts of the film and I definitely found Storm Reid to be a wonderfully refreshing change, but A Wrinkle in Time just does not live up to the reputation of Disney or the original source material.