Chew's Reviews - A Wrinkle in Time

By Gary Chew | March 8, 2018 |

My assumption when writing a film review is that likely close to 100-percent of those who read it are adults. That's especially my sincere wish for these words about A Wrinkle In Time ... new from the Wonderful World of Disney.

Obviously, not because the picture is replete with explicit sex and coarse language, but rather … a film children should see en masse. Age suggestions from Oprah Winfrey herself, on the Stephen Colbert show the other night, are that the picture is about right for kids 6 to 14; any younger … it could scare the bejesus out of them. Thus, these remarks are meant for parents: take those kids of yours to this one … for sure.

The principal themes woven into this beloved story, originating from the American author Madeleine L'Engle, are love, diversity and respect. The script was written by Jennifer Lee and Jeff Stockwell; Ava DuVarney directed. An earlier film by DuVarney is Selma from 2014.

A Wrinkle In Time is a broad metaphor about life that makes connections in almost as many ways as there are likely to be lives lived. Meg Murry (Storm Reid) is about 14 or 15. Her father (Chris Pine) has left the family. The mother (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and Meg's little brother, Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) are also still at home, not knowing where Mr. Murry has gone or if he's coming back. In the family's backyard, Meg, Charles Wallace and Meg's school friend, Calvin (Levi Miller) are whisked away through time and space to rescue Mr. Murry and bring him back home. The father is a gifted scientist who says he wants to “shake hands with the universe.” Unfortunately, Mr. Murry has become a prisoner of evil forces on a far distant planet.

Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) is the first of a trinity of women who make you comfortable with the idea that this film is pretty far out there. The movie has important things to say to young human beings just learning, hopefully best, how to negotiate themselves through the rest of their lives – and thus, with a certain amount of clarity. Two other important participants in the “transportation” of Meg, Charles Wallace and Calvin to places they've never imagined are Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) and Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey). What one plays larger than the other two is, of course, Mrs. Which. She's the boss, but a nice one. Oprah, Reese and Mindy's garbs, coupled with their makeup are something to behold. Moreover, Reese is pretty funny ... and assisted so by wearing weird-colored lipstick.

Two more familiar faces show up for sequences of Wrinkle's wild action: Zack Zalifianakis and David Oyelowo. Respectively, the characters played by them are known as Happy Medium and The It.

(If kids have been reading this up to now, they should put it down. Stop your reading, please.)

A Wrinkle In Time is boring. Its plot is hopelessly full of holes and runs about 15 to 20 minutes longer than necessary. Young people are not likely so much tuned-in to these “issues,” but still influenced, I'm sure, by the positive examples presented, and with which their minds may play and ponder.

Leaving the cinema, I saw a small, sweet girl standing with her mother who was in line waiting to pick up her embargoed phone from an usher. I leaned over to the child, who appeared to be a preschooler, and said, “Did you like the film?” Her pretty, sparkly eyes were still quite big from seeing all the wrinkles in the movie. I inferred from her facial expression that she was continuing to wonder about what had just happened before her … there on that big screen. She cautiously nodded “yes.”

Copyright © 2018 by Gary Chew. All rights reserved.


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