A wrinkle in time
Review by Robyn Kilroy
A Wrinkle in Time, directed by Ava DuVernay and based on the 1962 sci-fi fantasy novel by Madeleine L’Engle tells the story of pre-teen Meg (Storm Reid) and her little brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe), who, along with their friend Calvin (Levi Miller) embark on an epic journey across the universe in an attempt to find Meg and Charles Wallace’s missing father (Chris Pine). Despite the whispers of underwhelming reviews, I came to the screening of this new Disney film with high expectations. Overall, I was impressed by Disney’s new venture, and found it to be a refreshing take on the fantasy/science fiction genre.
While there were some aspects of the film that were a let-down, I’d like to first point out that this is an important film in regards to whom it represents. This film has an abundant of strong female characters, starting with our main protagonist Meg, who is played fantastically by Storm Reid. Reid shows her potential as being a future serious actor, displaying Meg as a complex and troubled character who must learn to love herself in order to be at one with the universe. Other strong female characters also include the trio of astral travellers, Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) and Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey), who help Meg, Charles Wallace and Calvin travel across the universe. For a Disney movie aimed at young pre-teens, this representation of strong and powerful women is great to see. Along with the message of learning to love yourself and overcoming your own insecurities, this film embodies the female empowerment that continues to surge through Hollywood with movements such as #TimesUp.
Another pleasing aspect was the astonishing visual effects throughout the film. As our heroes travel through the universe, we as the audience are transported into colourful and vibrant new lands which I was mesmerized by. However, at times I felt that the film relied too heavily on these visuals to establish the film’s quality. This emphasis, I’m afraid, took away from other elements of the film, most importantly the narrative. In many places the pace of the plot became sluggish and to make up for this, we are bombarded by beautiful visuals. Unfortunately, due to the visual bombardment many of the characters lacked necessary depth, in particular the character of Happy Medium (Zach Galifianakis), who in the brief time in which he featured, established himself as a character of interest. However, nothing came to be of this character, which was disappointing as I was left wanting more. The same can be said about the character Red (Michael Pena), an evil character under the control of an evil force, who once again was expelled from the narrative just as he was becoming interesting. This lack of character development within the narrative, sadly, took away from what would have otherwise been a fantastic film.
Despite the films faults, I would still recommend it, especially to a pre-teen audience for its strong underlying message of self acceptance and self empowerment.