Movie Review: A Wrinkle in Time (2018)
By: Allyson Roche ’19
Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time analyzes the choice of good versus evil, the importance of love, self-confidence, and the special bond of family. Adapted from Madeleine L’Engle’s Newbery Medal winning novel of the same name, the Disney film follows Meg Murry (Storm Reid), a bullied, science-loving middle schooler whose father, a scientist, disappeared 4 years ago.
When three otherworldly and goddess-like beings named Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling), and Mrs. Which, (Oprah Winfrey), enter Meg and her brother’s world, she ventures on a mystifying journey across the universe in the search of her beloved father.
The colorful science-fiction world in which DuVernay immerses you is breathtaking, wonky, and beyond imagination. While the visuals are sure to impress, the somewhat weak script can easily be overlooked/forgiven by the charming performances of the cast. The undeniably magnetic screen presence of both Chris Pine, (Dr. Alex Murray, Meg’s father), and Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Dr. Kate Murry, Meg’s mother) whose roles are important, but relatively small, leave audiences wanting more of their story.
Academy Award-nominated director Ava DuVernay made history with this project by becoming the first female African American director to helm a $100 million film. The Selma director drew from her roots, when interpreting the original text. In the novel, Meg’s family is white and from Connecticut, while in the film, Meg lives in South L.A. with her multiracial family.
Storm Reid understood the significance that Meg’s presence could have on audiences. She told The New York Times, “[Meg] is an African American girl that is smart, that is beautiful, and that basically realizes that she is enough . . . she just taps into her superpowers to be able to save her dad, her brother, and the world.”
For an adult or teenage viewer, this film can be cheesy, childish, and incredibly unsubtle. It is a film better watched if you imagine what your middle-school-self would think while viewing it.At its core, A Wrinkle in Time is a film made for young girls. It teaches young girls that they deserve to love themselves, to be loved, and to seek good.
However, in listening to the gasps and giggles of the little girls surround me in the theatre as the magic and heroism of a girl just like them illuminated their faces, I couldn’t help but wish I had a film like this when I was younger.
I left the theatre with a growing smile across my face knowing that today, girls have a seemingly ordinary hero in Meg Murry, who is just like them – able to save the day and do what she dreams.