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A WRINKLE IN TIME gets 4/10 Ticking away moments that make up a dull day

Directed by Ava DuVernay
Starring; Storm Reid, Levi Miller, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon


There’s no doubt that a swan is a beautiful creature. Above the water it is all grace and poise, while below it is in constant motion to stay moving. It’s a battle we never see, we’re just aware of the wonderful bird gliding in front of us – everything appears effortless. By contrast A Wrinkle In Time is all movement and effort, constantly trying to remind us how wondrous and magical it is. It’s an annoying child interrupting us every two minutes to watch it do something we’ve seen a million times before. We don’t care, we just want to go home and laze on the couch and watch some Netflix (I may be an awful imaginary parent).

It has been years since Meg’s (Storm Reid) scientist father (Chris Pine) went missing while researching a way to fold space. However when the rather peculiar Mrs Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) shows up at the Murry household on the anniversary of that disappearance, Meg, her brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) and her classmate Calvin (Levi Miller) find themselves setting off on an adventure to alien worlds in search of her missing father.

It’s taken 55 years for Madeleine L’Engle’s children’s sci-fi novel to hit the big screen (although Disney previously filmed a TV version 15 years earlier) and it has certainly not been worth the wait. The special effects aren’t consistently good enough to convey the required magic and wonder of Meg’s interstellar journey, but more damning still is that the hero’s journey has been so cut down that nothing has any degree of resonance. None of the characters learn or significantly develop through the course of their travails, and although they are tested, the solutions don’t signify growth or developed wisdom. Consequently this battle between galactic forces of light and dark is stale. The events feel loosely connected, and despite highlighting significant scenes in the novel, feel devoid of the substance or a moral. As such, this appears an empty endeavour stripped of meaning, and lacking in the sheer spectacle required to replace that.

Somewhere there is a kid that will find this film to be their jam. They will fall in love with A Wrinkle In Time’s bright graphics, and humanist message of being just a little less awful to each other. I wish that was me, but my inner child (and the crusty old outer grump) finds that message underdeveloped and unearned by the slight character development, and tissue thin plot of the film.


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