The Oakland Post

“A Wrinkle in Time” is time you won’t get back

courtesy of IMDb

courtesy of IMDb

Trevor Tyle, Campus Editor

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Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time” had everything going for it—an all-star cast, familiar story and the House of Mouse’s stamp of approval. Unfortunately for director Ava DuVernay, though, the film was simply a waste of time.

The film, based on Madeleine L’Engle’s 1962 novel of the same name, follows Meg Murry (Storm Reid), a young girl struggling with the absence of her astrophysicist father Alex (Chris Pine), who disappeared four years prior as a result of his research, unbeknownst to his family. After Meg, her adopted brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) and their new friend Calvin (Levi Miller) share an encounter with three strange beings, they are transported to another world to find Alex, who is being held captive by a universal evil.

“A Wrinkle in Time” is loaded with potential, which, unfortunately, may be its biggest fault. Though being attached to Disney may have made it difficult to live up to its unfairly high expectations, it’s too ambitious for its own good. The film spends a great deal of its lengthy runtime exploring broad themes of self-love and acceptance without ever properly nailing it, making it feel not only preachy, but far too heavy for a kids’ movie.

“A Wrinkle in Time” was marketed as a kids’ movie, but the thematic elements of the film are above what children are either able or willing to comprehend. It quickly becomes clear that the film is far from entertaining for many younger theatergoers. (It’s really too all-over-the-place for most adults to get it, either).

It also never feels like a proper Disney classic. Whether it’s retellings of tales like “Beauty and the Beast” or original stories like “Hocus Pocus,” the company’s live-action films usually excel, though this was a rare exception.

That’s not to say there aren’t things to love about “A Wrinkle in Time,” though.

The visual effects are absolutely stunning. There were moments where it felt like the most aesthetically pleasing blockbuster film since “Avatar.” Everything from the color schemes to the magnificent CGI creatures is exquisite, so it’s a shame it doesn’t have the narrative to match it.

The performances were also rather wonderful, especially within the film’s pool of promising young actors. Reid is nothing short of charismatic in her portrayal of a vulnerable social outcast far too relatable to most audiences, while McCabe and Miller are equally delightful.

The three mystical beings—Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who—are played by Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling, respectively. Kaling switches her role as the ditzy Kelly Kapoor from “The Office” for a character full of wisdom, while Winfrey’s character is clearly fashioned to be some sort of goddess—because she’s Oprah. Witherspoon is perhaps the most charming of the three, though they all give unsurprisingly spectacular performances.

Meanwhile, “A Wrinkle in Time’s” themes of self-empowerment and diversity are admirable, providing what is perhaps the most emotional element the film has to offer. Meg’s journey through a world where no one—especially the adults—seems to understand her is far too real. Unfortunately, it’s still not enough to save the film from its convoluted narrative.

Overall, “A Wrinkle in Time” is a decent movie, but a massive letdown for Disney’s standards. Though it has its highs, its incoherent and plot hole-ridden narrative is ultimately its downfall.

Rating: 3/5 stars

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