Weekly Movie Review: A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time: An extremely flawed film

To live without hope – without the idea of a better, brighter tomorrow – would be a pretty miserable existence. Americans, for the most part, are a pretty optimistic bunch. Generally, we have always thought that no matter how bad our circumstances, we can always pull ourselves up and change our present situation through hard work and determination. But what happens when a child loses the belief that things will get better, when they lose hope? Disney’s latest flick is about a child who has grown pessimistic and needs help finding the positivity in life.

A Wrinkle in Time, already Disney’s second film of the year, is the story of 12-year-old Meg who has recently become withdrawn from family, friends and shows a lack of interest in school or really anything at all. Meg is still dealing with the sudden and unexplained disappearance of her NASA scientist father. Recently, Meg has gotten short with her mother, responding with barbed attacks laced with insults. She has also gotten into fights at school. The only person Meg semi-communicates with is her highly intelligent, but extremely peculiar brother Charles Wallace.

One day, out of nowhere, an odd, mysterious being, Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) shows up talking about time travel and Meg’s dad. Then the following day Meg and Charles Wallace are introduced to two other strange people – Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) and Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey). Soon enough Meg, Charles Wallace and their weird new friends are on a journey of a lifetime. What they encounter on their time-traveling expedition will change Meg’s outlook and life forever.

Easily the best aspect of the entire film is the direction. While the story is not the most exciting or all that interesting, the film moves along with a brisk pace. Additionally, while the acting is at times pretty weak, the director is able to get the most out of the actors to adequately tell the story.  The camera angles and the cinematography are both inventive, especially in the early stages of the film. It’s wholly apparent that for the director, this film was a true labor of love.

In a film filled with disappointing acting, Reese Witherspoon is, surprisingly, the biggest letdown. She’s loud, dumb and at times, laughably bad. Additionally, the writing is weak. One character, Calvin, just shows up out of nowhere, simply saying “I just feel like I’m supposed to be here.” Seriously, that’s all the explanation we ever get.

A Wrinkle in Time will likely go on to gross hundreds of millions, but it’s an extremely flawed film in many aspects. 2.5 out of 5.