“A Wrinkle in Time” is a sweet and courageous film based on the tween novel by Madeleine L’Engle. Published in 1962, the book has been a favorite read. But never has it been imagined as quite so colorful and fantastical. The story has a great message—when faced with darkness in the world: Be the Light; Be a warrior.
This is the tale of an adventure taken by 11-year-old Meg Murry, played by Storm Reid (who was Emily in 12 Years a Slave). She, her little brother, Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe), and their mother (Gugu Mbatha-Raw, of the movie Belle) are still grieving the unexplained disappearance, of their father and husband, Alex Murry (Chris Pine). Both theoretical scientists, Meg’s folks had a science lab in their home.
Dr. Alex Murry promoted a theory of space travel that involved bending time, or taking advantage of a wrinkle in time, to visit other places in the universe. Problem is, the night he finally succeeded in wrinkling time he disappeared into it. And this was much too soon after Charles Wallace joined the family. The scientific community and the neighbors do not believe Alex succeeded in his experiment. They say he more than likely abandoned his family for someone or something else.
Meg’s classmates are hard on her, teasing her about her deadbeat dad. She once was the star of the science class with an effervescent personality. But, she seems to have hardened her heart, lost her faith, her self-confidence, and her interest in school. Strangely, this is the point at which a boy in her class begins to show real interest in her. Calvin, played by Levi Miller (Peter in 2015’s Pan), tries to get to know Meg and ends up going on the adventure with Meg and her brother.
It is Charles Wallace who introduces Meg and Calvin to Mrs. Who, a magical being (Mindy Kaling from TVs The Mindy Project). Soon thereafter, Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) appears in order to convince Meg to go find her father. Meg, Calvin and Charles Wallace decide to trust, and they step through a wrinkle to search for Dr. Murry. On the other side, they are met by Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey), who turns out to be the wise one. Each of the three magical beings gives Meg a gift to help her in her quest. Yet, none of them wants her to enter the “It”, the essence of dark evil. Meg knows that is where she must go to find her father. Along this journey, many delightful, magical creatures and beings help with the children’s quest.
The special effects in this film may be stronger than the writing. The script leaves out essential faith language found in the novel: there are forces of darkness in our world, which only Light can overcome. As Mrs. Which would say, “Be the Light!”
A Wrinkle in Time is “rated PG for thematic elements and some peril.” The section of the film where Meg enters ‘The It” was intense and a bit scary. Children and youth–and even adults who loved the novel—are likely to enjoy this film. The reviews of Wrinkle in Time may not be great, so see it if you can before it disappears.