Sunday, March 11, 2018

A Wrinkle in Time

Movie Name: A Wrinkle in Time
Year of Release: 2018
Director: Ava DuVernay
Stars: Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Evans, Mindy Kaling, Levi Miller, Deric McCabe, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Pena, Andre Holland, Rowan Blanchard, Conrad Roberts
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 1
View Trailer

Prolific director Ava DuVernay is back, following her high profile previous directorial efforts, "Selma" and "13th", which were met with great critical accolades. "A Wrinkle in Time" is the adaptation of the book by Madeleine L'Engle, and is a big budget extravaganza hailing from Disney. The film follows the story of Meg, whose parents are brilliant scientists. They're on the verge of finding out a way for humans to travel across time and multiple dimensions, much to the disbelief of the scientific community. They're also about to adopt a baby boy, whom they have decided to name Charles Wallace. The story then takes a time jump, and four years later, Meg is a somewhat antisocial student, while Charles Wallace has turned out to be a prodigal young boy. Their father has disappeared, which has caused much distress on the family. Out of nowhere three fantastical women appear, all with tremendous power and insight, who open the gateways to a different universe. They want to help Meg, Charles Wallace and their friend Calvin, uncover what has happened to Meg and Charles' father. On this quest they'll have to vanquish both this ominous dark force, named "The It", and simultaneously find the strength within to get back home.
"A Wrinkle in Time" is a well known book, that has been adapted without much subtlety and apparently without much sense of taste. The story, which revolves around multiple universes, ends up being summarized in this screenplay, by a young girl finding her father, who has disappeared and is captured inside an orange square, seemingly frozen by his own fears. It's a film that overly simplifies what could have been a potentially life affirming and heartwarming story of a young girl coming to terms about her own resourcefulness , and how to overcome a gut wrenching situation. It ends up being manipulative in the worst possible way, and also nonsensical, without ever giving the story a sense of wonder (apparently the way you express excitement upon landing in a new planet, is by running down the hill with your arms wide open, closing your eyes while you're doing it - and hoping you don't trip). Visually the film is equally all over the place, with some crude visual effects, and a taste level that leaves a lot to be desired (which also extends itself to the choice of soundtrack, which is predictable and a whisper away of overreaching). In a way, this film took all the lessons that Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" had provided, and actually made it worse. It's hollow, saccharine, and instantly forgettable. A miss.