Is A Wrinkle in Time as epic as the hype makes it seem?
Directed by: Ava DuVernay
Written by: Jennifer Lee, Jeff Stockwell, Madeleine L’Engle (novel)
Cast: Storm Reid, Deric McCabe, Reese Witherspoon
Who, Which, What’s it but not How’s it
I honestly wanted to not like this film. From what I saw in the trailer it just seemed to be the same exact formula every Disney movie uses and I wanted something new. Was I wrong?
Yes I was! Kind of. This film starts with a young girl and her father working on a science experiment in the garage. The father asks “Are you ready to meet your new brother?” This leads to the title card A Wrinkle in Time.
The young girl, Meg, and her adoptive brother Charles Wallace now navigate life being bullied and clearly shaken from the disappearance of their father four years ago. Their mother Dr. Kate Murray is always putting her best foot forward and tries to assist her children in returning to a life of normalcy now that their father and her husband is gone.
However, this is a Disney movie and normalcy just doesn’t seem like a word you could ever use to describe a Disney movie. Charles Wallace, a clearly smart individual, befriends an agent of the Universe, Mrs. Whatsit. We are soon introduced to a classmate of Meg’s, Calvin and two more astral travelers, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which.
The six of them embark on a journey to find Meg and Charles Wallace’s father, Alex Murray, who is in fact alive. Through the theory Alex Murray discovered the six astral project, or as this film calls it Tesser, to other Planets and Dimensions to find Alex who is seemingly lost in one of the dimensions.
Mrs. Whatsit is a happy go lucky “astral traveler” who is played by Reese Witherspoon. Then there is Mrs. Who portrayed by Mindy Kaling. Her character is so wise that she can only use quotes to speak. This provides both comic relief and proverbs used throughout the film to help the adventurers. Then there is Mrs. Which played by Oprah Winfrey. Her character is the clear leader of the “astral travelers” and provides some insight for the lead character Meg. However, aside from this her character seems almost useless. For most of the movie she just stands there.
The only character who really seems to leave an impact is Mrs. Whatsit, and it’s mostly based off that she has the most to do and present in the film. The only reason that bothers me is because in promotional material it seemed as though these three were very important characters when in reality the film is not about them. Who does stand out is Meg Murray and Charles Wallace Murray played by Storm Reid and Deric Mccabe.
These two characters act almost effortlessly and are given tasks I’ve seen even well-seasoned actors fail at. They go from being bullied and unsure to their own heroes in multiple scenes throughout the film. The cast rounds out with Levi Miller as Calvin and Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Chris Pine as Mrs. and Mr. Murray.
The trailer does kind of give away a majority of the plot. I went into this movie only seeing a teaser for it. However, I watched the trailer after the film and I feel as though the father being alive could have been left out of the trailers. In the end the movie does have a lot of twists in its final act and is an awesome ride for families to enjoy.
Safe for kids
This movie addresses a lot of serious issues for children middle school age and above. I would highly recommend it for all ages and even recommend seeing it with an adult because it’s a movie that could spark a lot of discussion.
This movie in the sense of plot and how vibrant it is really is no different from any other Disney movie out or coming out soon. Disney has a brand, and it works.
On the other hand, this movie is fantastic for the groups it represents. It’s almost a blink and you’ll miss it moment if you aren’t a part of the specific groups. However, what this film does I give major props to Disney for doing.
A few examples are girls with eating disorders, single mothers, and adopted children. There is one scene in particular where Meg is complimented by Calvin for having nice hair. This very small nod to the struggle of ethnic girls and their natural hair is continually addressed throughout the film.
You see Meg slowly become more and more comfortable in her own skin and it’s a great journey to watch. What is even more awesome is that each kid has a journey and they slowly grow and overcome real issues.
I know this has been done before in Disney movies, but this time around seems more real and relatable to a mainstream audience. In the end, the morals this movie teaches is what saves the film from being another ok Disney movie. Also, the fact that it appeals to so many demographics I haven’t seen Disney appeal to while also maintaining a mainstream plot thoroughly impressed me.