3.44 over 5 stars.
What’s not to love in a Disney film? The studio is renowned for its well-written tales filled with uplifting themes, and all that sugar and spice. Hence, “A Wrinkle in Time” is one of its movies that I somehow looked forward to watching. Heck, I even watched it on its first showing date in the Philippines.
I truly regret that decision.
“A Wrinkle in Time” is probably Disney’s biggest upset of the year… or even, of all time. It is just nothing but a big heap of mess. The film wanted to spread hope and love to its family audience, but it failed in doing so with its disconnected plot and storytelling. It relied too heavily with overly saturated computer-generated imagery (CGI), yet that too did not elicit awe and wonder. Also, there was nothing special with its musical score, and the cast did not work as a whole.
3.19 over 5 stars.
Based on the awards-winning classic children’s book of the same name by Madeleine L’Engle, the film tells the story of a young girl named Meg Murry (Storm Reid). Being a daughter of two scientists, she was once a bright pupil. But after the sudden and mysterious disappearance of her father, Dr. Alex Murry (Chris Pine), everything in her life turned upside down. You see, Dr. Alex wanted to touch the stars; and in his attempts in doing so, he inexplicably vanishes.
Meg becomes the target of bullies in her school. However, her classmate Calvin O’Keefe (Levi Miller) becomes her knight in shining armor somehow. When he comes to visit her at home, a strange redheaded lady appears, and introduces herself as Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon). She is then joined by two other Mrs. – Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) and Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey). What’s stranger is that Meg’s genius younger brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) seemed to be expecting them, and I really do not understand why.
Anyway, the three Mrs. lead the three kids to a rescue mission to save Dr. Alex. They travel throughout the universe by means of tessers – wrinkles in time which allows them to teleport to any place where there is light. In the course of their adventure, they learn that Dr. Alex is still alive and kicking, but is stranded in the dark planet Camazotz. He is being held captive by the It, a great evil who is slowly taking over the entire universe.
After knowing the whereabouts of Dr. Alex, the three Mrs. try to bring the group home to Earth, saying that as beings of light, they cannot venture forth towards Camazotz. Meg strongly refuses though, and carries the whole team instead to the It’s home-world. Soon upon arrival, the kids see the three Mrs. slowly fading into the wind as their powers of light are being opposed by the planet’s dark nature. Before they completely disappear, the three Mrs. bequeath the kids with special gifts that will aid them in their journey. Now left in the company of themselves, Meg, Calvin, and Charles Wallace continue the mission of saving Dr. Alex as they fend off against the evils of the It and Camazotz.
“A Wrinkle in Time” is your typical goodness-always-prevails-over-evil story. Well, it is supposed to be a film for the family, and is meant to teach values of hope, love, family, and believing in one’s self and in what is good. However, the movie missed the mark that its namesake book left. It absolutely failed in effectively conveying its key messages to its intended audience due to its shambolic plot and storytelling. There is a certain disconnect with all sequences in the story; and I always found myself trying to understand what was happening. Yet, I saw no answer every time. The story is just one big headache.
The Sights and Sounds
4.00 and 3.33 over 5 stars, respectively.
It is beyond obvious that “A Wrinkle in Time” banked on its visuals too much. Its aesthetics were intended to be awe-inspiring. Indeed, the wardrobe and make-up of the three Mrs. were totally on point, and the scenery of the different planets were vividly colorful. However, I was not too pleased with all the CGI. They did not spark marvel. Instead, they all fell flat, thanks to the movie’s bad storytelling.
The same is true with the film’s music as well. There is just nothing remarkable about its orchestral and choral score. It did not work out with the movie’s plot.
3.25 over 5 stars.
The cast does not deserve anyone’s applause, perhaps except Oprah Winfrey though. She perfectly matched the role of Mrs. Which. Her composure suited that of a celestial body of light. Meanwhile, I have mixed feelings about Deric McCabe. Surely, he was in character as the whiz kid Charles Wallace. However, he seemed to be a wrong puzzle piece to the Murry family. He was kind of off as a child of Mr. and Mrs. Murry.
Reese Witherspoon was so-so as Mrs. Whatsit, but Mindy Kaling was not given the opportunity to shine as Mrs. Who. Meanwhile, Chris Pine was unfit for the role of an astrophysicist (Dr. Alex Murry). He did not radiate any intelligence at all.
Levi Miller was okay as Calvin O’Keefe, but he was too much to be Meg’s love interest in the story. Their personalities just did not bond together. Probably, this is because Storm Reid lacked the makings of a protagonist. Her performance as Meg Murry plunged way below the charts. She was even somehow cringe-worthy at times.
“A Wrinkle in Time” is one Disney movie I definitely would not recommend anyone to watch. Die-hard fans of the studio will certainly sigh in disappointment after watching this poorly done film.
Let this be a lesson to Disney: there is no point in stepping up a film’s visual game if the story and casting are ineffective. All the major elements in a movie must work hand-in-hand in order to drive it forward into the box office.
“A Wrinkle in Time” premiered in the Philippines on 14 March 2018, and is still currently running.
This blog post’s featured image is from hdqwalls.com.