Based on the 1962 novel by Madeleine L’Engle, the A Wrinkle in Time Walt Disney Pictures re-make is a breath-taking sci-fi fantasy thriller like no other. With strong messages of female empowerment and diversity at every corner and a talented cast including the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Storm Reid, it’s one to add to your all-time favourite movies.
With its bright, technicolour scenes and costumes, the protagonist’s emotional yearning to be reconnected with a much-loved parent and ethereal, benevolent fairy-like guides, A Wrinkle in Time has many similarities with another popular film classic, The Wizard of Oz, but make no mistake that this film is for a modern audience. Be prepared to be moved and enthralled by this big budget adaptation of the popular children’s book classic.
The film business is a notoriously white and male-dominated industry so when Ava DuVernay became the first woman of colour director with a production budget of over $100m, she certainly pulled out all the stops. The plot follows the story of thirteen-year-old Meg Murray (played by Storm Reid) whose Astrophysicist father (Chris Pine) leaves her, her mother (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and her little brother, Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe).
When Meg, Charles Wallace and their friend Calvin meet the weird and wonderful magical creatures in the form of humans; Mrs Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), Mrs Who (Mindy Kaling) and Mrs Which (Oprah Winfrey) they are taken on a twisting and turning adventure to find and rescue their father through space and time.
The wardrobe and hair and makeup is jaw-dropping; glitter brows, out-of-this-world smoky eyes and magnificent gowns add to the fun and the magic of the film.
Meg, the bi-racial heroine of the film is a champion of much-needed representation in the sci-fi, children and lead role categories of films that has never really been done before. Not only that, Gugu Mbatha-Raw plays her physicist mother, portraying strength, love and perseverance as well as intelligence.
DuVernay’s emphasis on the need for representation is continued with the three magical creatures. Oprah’s character, Mrs Which, is the wisest of all and encourages Meg to “be a warrior” which provides the tagline and the message for the whole picture.
With the punchy scene changes, the wonderfully different backdrops and the enthralling CGI, it hooks your attention for the whole two hours running time. Particularly touching is the imperative father-daughter relationship portrayed by Chris Pine and Storm Reid. Their on-screen rapport and exceptional acting is something that stays with you long after.
All in all, the enchanting film is a masterpiece in terms of entertainment but Ava Duvernay’s true take away was a lot more than just a visual and theatrical spectacle. It teaches young girls of colour and children of colour in general, that they are important, clever, beautiful and heroic. With the phenomenal success of Marvel’s Black Panther and now this, it’s clear that some headway is being made into changing the film industry scene for the better.
The all-encompassing themes of gender equality, celebration of diversity and dealing with grief and growing up, all make the film worthy of long-term success and sets an example for future children’s blockbusters.
Watch the trailer below