By Jim Tortolano
It’s been said that the new film “A Wrinkle in Time” is a colorful fable for kids, but I think some of the critics are missing the point by, oh, 91 million miles. This movie adaptation of the 1962 novel by Madeline L’Engle has a lot more beneath its often-spectacular special effects.
As directed by Ada Duvarney (from a screenplay by Jennifer Lee and Jeff Stockwell), this film speaks to one of the fundamental corrosive principles in human life, especially today. It confronts, metaphorically, the ever-present and growing power of a lack of faith and optimism that can turn efforts toward progress and peace into something bleak and hopeless.
It is a non-sectarian tale of belief which can allow the viewer to put his or her own spin on just what or who stands beyond the physical universe, and dares us to imagine our own role – or possible roles – in it.
As to the story itself, here goes. Meg Murry (a very impressive Storm Reid) is the daughter of visionary quantum scientist Dr. Alex Murry, played by Chris Pine. His ideas about “folded space” and “tesseracts,” which would be very much at home in Capt. Kirk’s world are ridiculed in our present time.
Still experimenting, Pine disappears from his lab and after four years, Meg and brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) are left to wonder why their beloved, involved father would (seem to) abandon them.
Meg’s moping – a crisis of faith, really – is slightly mitigated by her friendship with Calvin (Levi Miller). Then, into the fray, deus ex machina appear .
Three elaborately-garbed women summon the three youths to a mission to travel across the galaxies and rescue not only the missing dad but also the teetering universe.
The Three Wise Women (Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which) are portrayed by Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling. They dispense some wisdom and escort our young trio into a series of adventures across many dimensions which speak to the evils of conformity, selfishness and overcrowded beaches.
As you might expect, after a harrowing confrontation with the gigantic and growing – “It,” rendered as a sort of expanding cosmic cancer cell of negativity – the right guys win and the beloved are reunited after a trip of oh, say, 91 million miles.
The surprise is not in the outcome, but in your reaction. You don’t have to be a theoretical physicist – or a grade school kid– to appreciate the power of love, justice and self-reliance to (here comes the pun) iron out the wrinkles in life’s inevitable ups and downs.
“A Wrinkle In Time” is rated PG, but keep the kids under-10 at home. There are some scary scenes toward the end the wee onesthat might not understand.
Categories: Arts & Leisure