I enjoyed A Wrinkle in Time.
First, the review:
At its core, I think it succeeds as a classic Disney movie, with a simple and positive message, a feel-good ending and lush visuals. It’s hurt however, by a clunky plot and cheesy dialogue.
I thought probably the most expensive part of the film, the sequence in which Mrs Whatsit turns into a leaf (??) was pretty unnecessary and uninspired, which gave the film a rocky start. But it certainly had its emotionally resonant moments, such as when Meg finally reunites with her father, buoyed by a nice performance by Storm Reid. I thought the two main supporting roles of Calvin and Charles Wallace didn’t gel well at all with Meg’s character though; the Calvin-Meg relationship felt overtly forced, and so did Charles Wallace’s precocity. The three Mrs were helped the story along nicely I thought… I was mostly taking note of their bizarre but pretty costumes though, that changed every time they tessered. I thought the movie really began to pick up during the Camazotz scenes; the ever-changing landscape made for some pretty interesting situations, certainly far more interesting than Mrs Whatsit as a cabbage.
Now, the analysis:
I think if one thing’s for sure, it’s that Wrinkle is very direct in bringing across its message. The most obvious one is the message on self-love; Mrs WhatsIt’s gift to Meg is “her faults”, and we find that it’s a gift because only in acknowledging her faults can she achieve a degree of self-love. I thought this was captured nicely by Meg pushing off a ‘perfect’ version of herself conjured by The It. One of the most effective part of the film, to me, involved the minor character of Veronica, who bullies Meg in school. Through Mrs Which’s vision, we see that she is also strongly lacking in self-love, and is obsessed about her weight. I think this really helped bring across how lack of self-love is a problem that inflicts every type of person.
Because of this clearly driven and positive message, I think this would actually be an amazing film for 10-12 year olds, who’d likely be able to appreciate its message and emotional punch and be less concerned about the clunky narrative.
Despite a very clunky plot and an overload of cheesy scenes, Wrinkle has its emotionally resonant moments and an undoubtedly good message at its heart, making this overall still enjoyable.