A Wrinkle in Time Review
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For many of us, Madeleine L’Engle’s award-winning 1962 fantasy, A Wrinkle in Time, was required childhood reading—a magical adventure that traveled to distant worlds to battle darkness in the universe. And in the Disney adaptation, director Ava DuVernay sets out to bring the magic and message to a new audience.

A Wrinkle in Time follows the story of Meg Murry (Storm Reid), an awkward young outsider whose life was changed forever four years ago, when her scientist father disappeared. But while Meg is bullied and angry, her precocious little brother, Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe), is open to the magic around him. And when three mysterious women arrive at their home to take Meg, Charles Wallace, and their friend, Calvin (Levi Miller), on a mission into the universe to rescue their father, they soon find themselves battling a terrifying evil to find him and make it back home again.

Though it’s based on a novel that’s been read by school kids for more than half a century, A Wrinkle in Time still has a timely story to tell—and DuVernay takes the classic message and adapts it for modern audiences. Kids today will understand the young characters: their loneliness, their insecurity, the pain of being mocked and bullied, the fear of the darkness that sometimes seems to be reaching out to grab them. And that makes the film’s messages—about being true to yourself and battling the darkness with love—so powerful today.

The story definitely takes audiences on an emotional journey—for better or for worse. These are kids who struggle both at home and at school. They battle their own self doubts as they take on a big, scary monster that seeks to take away their spirit and engulf them in darkness. But they also travel through beautiful worlds with colorful flowers and remarkable creatures, giving the film its much-needed moments of light and magic.

Still, despite the eye-catching style, the wonder and imagination, and the powerful message, this isn’t a fully immersive fantasy. The adaptation is flawed, with characters coming and going at random, and the performances and storylines are often awkward. And, unfortunately, the film’s weaknesses may distract viewers from the meaning of it all.

DuVernay’s adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time is as eye-catching as you’d expect a Disney fantasy to be. But while it still carries the magic and message of the beloved novel, the pieces fail to come together in a smooth and satisfying way.

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