A WRINKLE IN TIME
Directed by: Ava DuVernay
I only caught up with Madeleine L’Engle’s 1962 children’s novel A Wrinkle in Time recently, a tangled fantasy where three children face situations blended with science and spirit that surely sparked my imagination and I wish it was a part of my childhood. The script (by Jennifer Lee and Jeff Stockwell) is significantly different from the original story and a lot of it didn’t make sense, but, Ava DuVernay who also directed Selma (2014) and 13th (2016) does capture the core of the novel’s wonder, warmth and intensity that L’Engle gave with her literature.
With A Wrinkle in Time, DuVernay has made a bit of film history, it is the first picture with a 100 million dollar budget ever directed by a woman of color. The film also has a sublime diverse casting, proclaims that love can drive out darkness, and a beautiful message: “Be a Warrior'”. There is also significance of watching a young girl of color like Meg grow into herself in a big-budget movie and it will not be underestimated. Young black girls can watch someone who looks like them going on an adventure on the big screen. It is so fulfilling to see another movie with diversity hit theaters successfully just like Black Panther, and lets rewind back a bit earlier to the award winning success of Coco
The story is about Meg Murry (Storm Reid) who has unfortunately been depressed and bullied ever since her brilliant scientist father Dr. Alex Murry (Chris Pine) mysteriously disappeared four years ago. Alex and his wife/Meg’s mother Dr. Kate Murry (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) were studying the possibility of “wrinkling” time in order to close great distances within the universe. One day, Meg’s adopted child prodigy brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) introduces Meg and her friend Calvin (Levi Miller) to some of his strange friends, the glorious trinity of Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling), and Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey), who want to help reunite the Murry family. In order to reunite, Meg will need to become a warrior and conquer her inner pain and anger. Meg is very flawed, she is encountered with bullying and misunderstandings from not only the other children but also with the adults of the town after the loss of her father. There’s nothing “special” about her, which makes her a far more compelling protagonist that is not the stereotypical flawed chosen one protagonist because she works harder to accept herself that allows her to be a warrior.
The film trims many elements of L’Engle’s book in notable ways. For example some characters from the book, like Meg and Charles’s twin brothers didn’t make it into the movie, while another character, the head of the mean girls named Veronica is in the movie but not the book. Again, I dislike when the movie leans a little too heavily on its special effects, but the cinematography had an amazing colorful vision thanks to Tobias A. Schliessler who also was the cinematographer for Beauty and The Beast (2017). The beautiful soundtrack also fits many of the moments of the film with wonderful artists like Sade who joins a number of others for the soundtrack including Chloe x Halle, DJ Khaled, Kehlani and more.
The film’s themes of love, family, and self-acceptance are powerful and I hope the charming message will have an affect on the children who view it!
3.5 ♡/5 ♡