I’m aware of the love for Madeleine L’Engle’s 1961 novel, “A Wrinkle in Time’. Since it was first released, the book has never been out of print. I wish I could say that I’m one of many that read it in grade school – and if memory serves me correct, I was SUPPOSED to, but it was one of the many projects that became victim to my childhood lack of ambition….i.e., yours truly probably should’ve spent a little more time in the library and a little less time at the arcade.
It’s too bad, and especially unfortunate after just seeing the long-awaited cinematic adaptation of ‘A Wrinkle In Time’, for I think the comparison game would be very helpful. Maybe essential.
I’m going to wager that, on paper, ‘A Wrinkle In Time’ is a gloriously creative tale. At least, I hope so. ‘Cause on the big screen? It’s odd. It’s really long. And – sorry to say – this movie is more than a wee bit dull.
The story revolves around Meg (Storm Reid), a child enchanted by her father’s teachings on the cosmos. Then her dad (Chris Pine) mysteriously disappears. Her classmates bully her mercilessly, leaving her five-year old brother (Deric McCabe) to constantly come to her rescue. Together with Calvin (Levi Miller), one of the cool kids at school who goes against the popular vote and takes a shine to Meg, the siblings are visited by guardian angels….Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) and Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey)…who not only explain that Meg’s father is still alive, having slipped through a tesseract (a ‘fold’ in the fabric of time and space), but how they can go after him.
And from there, ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ is a parade of CGI effects, though few visual tricks can come close to Oprah’s glittery hair in this one.
What sounds like a promise of suspense and wonder comes up surprisingly empty – on both counts. When Pine is ultimately located (should I have said, ‘spoiler alert’?) on a planet that looks like some kind of Warhol-inspired fun house, the discovery elicits more of an “it’s about time” than a cheer. And gardens full of gossiping flowers or watching Reese Witherspoon turn into a giant lettuce leaf doesn’t exactly dazzle the senses.
Perhaps the book is simply too imaginative to receive a proper adaptation. Or, maybe a better bet…..I just don’t get it. Whatever the case, ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ DOES take you to a place we’ve never been before – alas, the trip ain’t all that fun.