I remember being introduced to the book by Madeleine L’Engle in 5th grade, but after attempting to read past the first few pages, I do remember being confused and losing interest. Unusual, to be sure. 30 years later, I’ve never read her young adult novel A Wrinkle in Time, released back in the early 1960s. Until this day, I didn’t even know that the book was the first novel of a 5-book series. Good for her. With Disney adapting the book into a major motion picture, the kids wanted to see it. For Josh’s 13th birthday this year, we took a bunch of his friends (plus Lily) and went to see A Wrinkle in Time. It’s a big production written by Jennifer Lee and Jeff Stockwell, and directed by Ava DuVernay.
After dinner, we settled into our theater seats, and I was seriously underwhelmed for 1 hour and 49 minutes. I can’t tell you how underwhelmed exactly, but it was up there. The film is full of visual spectacle, and it has a pretty big decent cast (almost) in major and minor/cameo roles:
- Storm Reid
- Reese Witherspoon
- Oprah Winfrey
- Mindy Kaling
- Chris Pine
- Zach Galifianakis
- Michael Peña
- Gugu Mbatha-Raw
The film is about the Murry family. The parents are supposedly brilliant scientists with two kids Meg and Charles Wallace (more on him later) living… somewhere in the U.S. When they’re still really young, their father (played by Chris Pine) disappears one night, never to be seen again. 4-6 y years later, Meg is now 13 years old and struggles in school. No friends, depressed, etc. Her brother, Charles Wallace is now a pretentious 6 year old (?) who is super mature for his age, supposedly super intelligent (?), and I don’t know what to tell you.
Soon enough, this precocious Charles Wallace characters knows all these strange characters like Mrs. Whatsit (Witherspoon), Mrs. Who (Kaling), and Mrs. Which (Winfrey), and he secretly knows what’s going to happen, what’s the plan, and Meg and her friend Calvin are playing catch-up. Charles Wallace is a 6 year old who is somehow 20 steps ahead of everyone, and…. gah. I can’t.
I’m not trying to knock young actor Deric McCabe, but I really did not like how this kid’s character was the Mary Sue of story. He’s 6 years old and there’s no reason why he’s so confident, knows so much, and is running the show. I don’t care how smart he is. This character was ridiculous to me. Absolutely ridiculous.
The film spends most of its time about the journey they all take to find Chris Pine and bring him home. Somehow he used his mind to teleport himself across space and time (without aging) to a few different planets. And he’s being held prisoner by a CGI black-tentacled cloud of bad feelings.
I was glad when this film was over. I’m sorry.