A Wrinkle In Time: Review
Image Credit to Disney
I was NOT going to write a review of Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time until I read a massively unfair review of the film that ended with a statement of how the reviewer’s daughter “actually” enjoyed the film. SIGH… Sometimes I just want to enjoy all the good feelz an experience gives me without sharing because I’m an introvert and as a black woman (Yes. Went. There.) these experiences are rare enough for me to just want to treasure and keep to myself.
However, that unnecessarily critical review has drawn me out of my safe space cave to SHOUT OUT how #AMAZING this film is.
***MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD***
First, I read the book, so I understand the boundaries with which Ava Duvernay was trying to remain true. Of course, she branches out and makes some spaces her own. The soundtrack is one of those spaces. The beautiful music has an undeniably “black is strong” and “black is beautiful” feel throughout the film. In this, I am impressed because it reinforces, supports, and reaffirms DuVernay’s choice that the teenage lead character, Meg Murry (Storm Reid), be played by a young black actress. She also let go of two siblings that didn’t play a large part in the book and she truncated the bullying in order to quickly get to the first of the Mrs… Mrs. Which.
I did miss the mismatched squishy socks moment and was hoping Mrs. Which would come across more tattered and less well put together in her stolen bed sheets… but I got over it quickly as Reese Witherspoon is a strong actress who I think found a great balance between being new at the job and good at what she does playing Mrs. Which. She was slightly absent-minded emotionally without being ditzy, which could have been an easy trap to fall into.
The introduction of Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) was perfect and made the words of the book actually make more sense to me. Mrs. Who doesn’t use her own words. So, in the book, she speaks in notable quotes from around the world. In this, DuVernay takes the helm to include words more up to date, giving space to quotable and diverse modern words including hip-hop and the explosive musical Hamilton. It was interesting seeing Kaling being so thoughtful and reflective of the words she speaks. However, her mannerisms, her beautiful face, and her sweet voice bring forth the tender warmth of her intended meaning.
Now to the last of the Mrs… I don’t know why I am always surprised by Oprah’s talent as an actress. Maybe because I still see her as the daytime host I grew up with interviewing and highlighting the talent of others. Yeah, she was a good Sofia in The Color Purple, but it really wasn’t until I saw her portrayals in Greenleaf and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks that I realized how amazingly talented she is in her own right. Again, DuVernay makes the right call by making Mrs. Whatsit’s appearance bigger than life and overwhelming without being intimidating. The worlds range from warm and colorful to cold and dismal. Meg's transformation from angry, frightened, and lonely to quick thinking, bold, and heroic is a journey that I could take over and over again. It certainly is one that I would encourage all adults to allow the children in their lives to take as well.
I’ll admit that Calvin rubbed me the wrong way when I read the book. But, I really appreciate the moments in the film when we could see Meg through his eyes. And as I think more and more about the men in Meg’s life I realize that she becomes a hero to all of them, even Calvin. I was thinking we were supposed to see that a boy like Calvin could appreciate a girl like Meg. It annoyed me until this very moment the idea that Calvin just gets a feeling that he needed to be there… Because I was thinking he was supposed to be there for Meg, but the exact opposite makes more sense. She was there for him. Him being with her makes him stronger.
Go see the film! Go see the film! Go see the film!