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A Wrinkle in Time (2018)

Review by CJ

Director:
Ava DuVernay

Starring:
Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Deric McCabe, Levi Miller

Other notable appearances:
Chris Pine, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Peña, André Holland, Bellamy Young, Daniel MacPherson

Running time:
109 minutes

Watch this if you liked:
Interstellar, Coraline, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

 

Since her father’s disappearance four years ago, Meg Murry (Reid) has gone from a bright and productive student to a withdrawn and angry young woman. When three celestial beings hear her father’s calls for help from a distant corner of the universe, Meg must join them, her brother and schoolmate on a journey of self-discovery to rescue both her father and herself.

I wanted to love A Wrinkle in Time. It has a great director, stellar cast and intriguing plot. Unfortunately, the film is so bogged down in the visual that the story and cast don’t have the opportunity to shine.

Most of the film is spent with the main characters doing a whole lot of nothing, including both character development or in-world progress. Several key characters are poorly introduced with hints to who they are, but with no real segue into them being part of the story.

A Wrinkle in Time feels so overlong but only runs for 109 minutes. Then within the last 10-15 minutes of the film, everything folds itself up into a neat little package and they all live happily ever after. It felt like sitting through nearly an hour and a half of a long and winding road that goes seemingly nowhere then jumping on a Formula 1 track and racing to the end at 300kph.

I will say though that the film is visually beautiful. It often, to its detriment, relies too heavily on the use of special effects and CGI, but the result is a film with gorgeous worlds, impressive costumes and good effects.

There are many great performances in A Wrinkle in Time. Reid’s performance as the brokenhearted Meg, McCabe’s precocious portrayal of Charles Wallace and the powerhouse big three of Winfrey, Witherspoon and Kaling as the sage, quirky and sweet celestials respectively are, in fact, my favourite part of the whole film.

Overall, I wish A Wrinkle in Time spent more time developing its characters and pacing the story well than it does showcasing fancy visuals. The Wizard of Oz proved over 80 years ago that cutting edge visuals and a brilliant story can skip perfectly down a yellow brick road together to create a timeless children’s classic novel to film adaptation. It’s a shame that A Wrinkle in Time didn’t take a leaf out of Dorothy’s book.

Rating:

“The only thing faster than light is the darkness.”

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