Monday, 19 March, 2018

"A Wrinkle in Time" is a big, bloated mess

Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios
Stacy Diaz | 08 March, 2018, 05:24

The Los Angeles Times' Justin Chang summed it up as, "by turns gorgeous, propulsive and feverishly overwrought, A Wrinkle in Time is an otherworldly glitter explosion of a movie, the kind of picture that wears its heart on its tie-dyed sleeve", while Screen International's Tim Grierson praised DuVernay for placing an emphasis on "emotional clarity and narrative simplicity that allows the book's sci-fi examination of friendship, family and forgiveness to resonate with nearly mythic force".

TheWrap's Alonso Duralde, meanwhile, was more positive in his review, praising Oprah Winfrey for her performance as an otherworldly mentor and predicting that the film will resonate with the children for whom DuVernay's central message is aimed towards. "This is a happy movie in a dark time, which is particularly important for young kids, especially young regular girls".

"A Wrinkle in Time" looks at a family dealing with the sudden disappearance of their scientist father, Alex (Chris Pine), four years ago. Because Meg's precocious younger brother Charles Wallace is played by Filipino-American Deric McCabe, this results in the absurdity of the character now being identified as adopted, presumably because it would be hard to believe he could be the product of Mbatha-Raw and Pine's union. Meg isn't good at filling in blanks. Little Charles Wallace, who's always referred to by both names, is a real smarty trousers (he has all the best lines, and McCabe does a nice job with them) and exasperates Meg. Fearless and feisty, Charles Wallace uses his staggering intellect to tackle each new adventure without the slightest thought to outcome. White Reese Witherspoon's age and red tresses directly contradict the book's description of Mrs. Whatsit's "sparse quantity of grayish hair".

They meet the equally mysterious Mrs. But Mr. Murry has already come and gone. A bridge to traverse millions of light years using only the particular (or "true") frequency resonating within each individual.

For instance, the book describes a tesseract - the "wrinkle in time" of the title - that draws together distant points in the fabric of the universe. Meg must overcome her own issues with self-confidence to defeat the IT. In quick fashion, IT takes control of Charles Wallace and turns him against Meg. I felt like I couldn't do it and I couldn't pull it off but everybody made me feel so comfortable. When he and Meg lock philosophical horns - Meg preaching caution to Charles Wallace's reckless exploration - the story crackles with an infectious energy that kids will instantly find relatable. But it did make a profound impression on her.

Once all of the "Mrs. Ws" appear, however, there's no time left to delicately crack open Meg's protective shell.

Actor she'd most like to work with: "I hope I get to work with Ms. Meryl Streep".

The script is crippled by the inescapable fact that the Mrs. Ws simply aren't enchanting. Mrs. Whatsit is a flame-haired, slightly scatterbrained chatterbox. Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) who speaks in others quotations from Kahlil Gibran to Shakespeare. These characters, so delightfully realized in literary form, are little more than cinematic sudden comfort, conveniently providing Meg the advice or device she needs to keep the plot moving. Which as Oprah. Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. And Winfrey and Kaling look completely out of their element.

Oprah Winfrey is the kind Mrs. Depressingly, A Wrinkle in Time has less in common with its spiky protagonist than her plastic doppelganger, flattened into familiar wonders, a honest attempt at empowerment crushed into preachy dullness.

This simplicity clashes with the delightful weirdness of the film's final act, which traps viewers on charred space neurons, confronts them with demonic possession, and even makes a brief visit to the set of Jodorosky's The Holy Mountain. DuVernay can't seem to settle on a consistent visual or narrative cadence. Had the story's themes and the Mrs. Ws been approached with the same psycho-freakout energy, A Wrinkle in Time might not feel like such a confused, pandering mess. However, some of what makes A Wrinkle in Time so distinctive on the page doesn't make a logical or successful jump to the big screen; Mrs.

It seems likely that pre-teen girls will appreciate and relate to Meg.

Q: What do you like about her character?

Although there was a decrease in the number of female protagonists in films from 2016 to 2017, according to a study by San Diego's Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, there were still a number of notable movies that challenged gender stereotypes in a powerful way past year.