A popular science fantasy adventure novel makes its way to the big screen in “A Wrinkle in Time.” The 2018 film is based on the 1962 novel by Madeleine L’Engel.
The film tells the story of Meg Murry, a young girl who is searching for her missing father. Together with her classmate, her brother and three astral travelers she begins a quest that takes her to unimaginable worlds of wonder.
This film features an all star cast among the adult actors including Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pine, Zach Galifinakis and Oprah Winfrey. Standing out among these performances for me was Galifinakis. He’s made a living of being the chunky, funny guy. Here, he still plays the funny guy, but as a seer from the planet Orion, he brings a sweet sadness to the role because of everything the character knows. He conveys a pain of knowledge that I didn’t expect him to be able to pull off. Witherspoon, Kaling and Pine all play their parts very well, although none stand out like Galifinakis.
The only detriment here, to me, is Oprah Winfrey, through no fault of her talent. She plays Mrs. Which to perfection. It should’ve been a high point of the film. But, for me, it didn’t work because I found it hard to separate the media mogul and icon she has become from the character she was trying to play. Winfrey is an Oscar winner, so she’s more than capable. But, her outside ventures were distracting for me personally. My wife saw her on screen and said, “Space Oprah!” And, I agree, that’s what I saw every time she was on screen. That’s my issue, I’m sure some who saw this didn’t have that problem.
One surprising casting decision for me was the casting of Rowan Blanchard as a bully at Meg’s school. My main exposure to Blanchard is as the main character, Riley Matthews, on “Girl Meets World.” Her character on there was vastly different from her character her. I was pleasantly surprised to see the range she exhibited as she moved from the happy-go-lucky Riley to the mean girl Veronica.
This film is quite the ambitious undertaking. The colors are bold. They pop any time the characters move from planet to planet. But, the plot advancement leaves more to be desired. It feels like a gymnastics performance that looks great on the uneven bars, but falls on the landing. It tries to be broad and universal to appeal to as many people as possible, but that seems to be where the film fails. If the focus had been more centered, its narrative probably would’ve been more appealing to me. It’s my personal belief the all over the place narrative contributed to its box office disappointment.
All in all, the film is an interesting concept. Its potential is limitless, but its execution falls flat. It’s not a bad film, it’s just not a good film. It’s, quite frankly, average.
Ranking: 2.5 stars out of 5
What did you think of “A Wrinkle in Time?” Did you like it?