06/03/2017 UPDATE: Seems like there’s still a critics embargo on Rotten Tomatoes. That’s rarely a good sign, so unfortunately this might be more a disappointment than it is a pleasant surprise.
One film that I’ve been looking forward to greatly is Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time. It’s been on my radar ever the since the first trailer dropped about 7 months ago, and I continue to be in anticipation of it.
The classic novel on which the movie is based on is certainly not an easy one to adapt, and, as expected of Disney, they’ve gone the route of filling it with bright and beautiful visuals. The various landscapes which I saw in the multiple trailers definitely bring to mind visuals from past Disney fantasy films such as Oz the Great and Powerful and Tomorrowland.
Having mentioned Tomorrowland, I’m slightly worried about the parallels I’ve been drawing between both films. Tomorrowland was one of my most anticipated films the year it came out, and it sorely disappointed, mostly due to its messy plot which was certainly not helped by its seeming promise of a memorable high concept sci-fi/fantasy film. I’m worried that may be the case of A Wrinkle in Time, whose plot seems to be based very highly on a mix of fantasy and sci-fi elements.
However, I remain hopeful and excited for the film for a number of reasons. Firstly, I think the characters, especially the three Mrs Ws, could give the film a lightness and humour amidst Meg’s great adventure to find her father. The trailers have featured the three characters heavily, and they certainly seem poised to imbue the film with a definite degree of charm.
It also seems like it could have its fair share of touching and emotional moments; one of the main themes of the film appears to be that of love, especially familial love, which often tugs at one’s heartstrings. The theme of Light and Dark seems prominent as well (both in the book as well as from the trailer), which could give way to some intense and inspiring moments from our protagonist Meg, who seems both lovable and strong at heart.
Ava Duvernay directing this feature is certainly a plus point (though I said the same about Brad Bird for Tomorrowland), although it definitely doesn’t seem like the type of film that we’re used to seeing from her. I’m sure you’ve seen multiple reports and articles on how she will be the first black female director to direct a film with a budget of over $100 million. I think that, along with the diversity of the cast, is a win in itself for both the film and Disney already.
Of course, what matters most is the final product, the film itself. As I’ve mentioned earlier, I remain hopeful for this film. I truly hope it isn’t a misfire like Tomorrowland, because like that film, there’s just so much promise here; in the story, the cast, the director.
One thing that I think will certainly be lauded though, are the visuals. From the trailers, the visuals look amazing; bouncing between colourful, fantastical sights to more mystic ones with a certain sci-fi edge to them. As a side note, I thought the marketing team did an especially good job with the ticking-clock feature of the title and the mind-bending customised Disney logos in the trailer, not to mention the posters such as the one featuring the characters seemingly around the hands of a clock (in ref. to time of course). They’re beautiful!
Let’s hope this doesn’t disappoint.
Prediction: 7.5/10. A competent and enjoyable family film that may break new ground with its visuals, but could feature an underwhelming overall plot.