Madeleine L’Engle’s was first published in 1960, and 58 years later, Disney has brought the incredible adventure from the pages to movie theaters worldwide.
While Disney did its best to be faithful to the source material, the adaptation of “A Wrinkle in Time” doesn’t quite make the impression Disney intended it to make. Although, there are things that were done well that give this film heart in spite of its faults and will make this film enjoyable for most audiences.
The most powerful aspect of this film is in the relationships between the characters, most notably the relationship between Meg Murry and her father, Dr. Alex Murry. The bond between Meg and her father is very strong, and it is evident at the start of the film.
In a scene I liked Meg’s father tells her, “Love is always there. Even if you can’t see it.” This is an important scene because it helps Meg later in a time of crisis. It resonated with me because there are often times in our lives when we can’t see the love being given to us even though it is right in front of us.
We then see Meg four years after Dr. Murry’s disappearance and she is struggling to fit in, has shut herself off from others and is a shadow of her former self. The love and light she has inside is diminished because of her father’s absence. She cannot see love, though it is still there in the form of her little brother Charles Wallace.
Her journey through the universe by extraordinary and magical means is the very thing that makes it possible for her to reconnect with that love and light she has within.
The visuals in this film are spectacular and are done exceptionally well. In 3-D they’re out of this world and create many “wow” moments for the audience. The most spectacular moment is when Meg, Charles Wallace and Calvin are riding on Mrs. Whatsit after she transforms into a flying creature that resembles an enormous leaf with a head.
Where “A Wrinkle in Time” struggles is in the interpretation of the vast amount of symbolism and metaphors present in L’Engles story. In one scene, the children come upon a neighborhood not unlike most suburban neighborhoods. There are children bouncing a rubber ball in perfect sync creating a sound that somehow disturbs Charles Wallace but not the other two children. A woman comes out and attempts to invite the children for dinner. Meg simply declines and that is the end of the scene. It made the scene seem unnecessary because it didn’t convey the fact that this was actually Mr. It trying to tempt the children.
Some of the character development didn’t work very well either. Mrs. Who, Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Which come off as more whimsical characters than the mystical cosmic beings they are supposed to be. Mr. It, or the darkness that is threatening the entire universe, doesn’t seem as foreboding or evil as it should be.
Understandably, this is a family friendly film, but it never seemed like the children were in any real danger, even when confronting Mr. It. At the very least, a film about light versus dark should have moments that are scary and even remotely disturbing. The “Harry Potter” films have that in spades which made us all root for Harry and his friends all the more.
Overall, the message of the film is there is always hope, and we must learn to accept and love ourselves for who we are if we are ever to overcome the darkness both inside and out. Though I enjoyed the film for its visuals and the relationships between Meg her family and the three Mrs, I found the film lacking. Thus, “A Wrinkle in Time” is not a film will join the plethora of Blu-ray Discs in my collection.