Wednesday, March 28, 2018

[Review] A Wrinkle in Time

Based on a book of the same name, Disney and director Ava DuVernay have taken A Wrinkle in Time to the big screen in all its sweeping, ticking, fractured glory. And despite a few weak links that are difficult to get past, the film offers up a fair share of magic and a universal message.

The story revolves around Meg (Storm Reid), a young girl who embarks on a time-traveling, dimension-hopping journey to find her missing scientist father (played by Chris Pine), who's stranded on the other side of the galaxy. Along the way, she receives some help from three mystical beings -- Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling), and Mrs. Which (Oprah).

This film transports us to some surreal interplanetary settings of exquisite seas, skies, and land -- filled with whimsical features -- from gossipy flowers to floating stone bridges. The majestic musical score, which often soars with a chorus of voices, beautifully backs the fantastical scenery. As for the stumbles, the narrative can come off as glaringly clumsy and forced, and sometimes the CGI leaves more to be desired. For significant stretches, the film is a bit too breezy for its own good. But just when things are going too smooth and when the stakes don't feel very high, there are just enough dangers, obstacles, and evil energy thrown into the mix to keep things relatively interesting. Unfortunately, for a film involving time, space, and the mind, it isn't the most memorable of the genre.

But even though the emotional payoff in A Wrinkle in Time might not be as powerful as we want it to be, at the heart of the film is the perspective of a young child attempting to make sense of this complicated world through imagination. It's about not giving up, and it's about standing strong for what you believe in.

( 6/10 )

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