Last night my brother and I watched A Wrinkle in Time and I was really excited about it for some reason. Did it hold up to the source material? Well, I read the book ages ago, didn't really like it, and only remember a few key plot points—the missing dad, three weird ladies, the creepy identical houses, and Charles Wallace getting possessed, and ending up with purple circles for eyes...and all of that happened in the movie. Except the purple circles. So as far as I know, it was a faithful adaptation, but I'm not the one to ask. This review is about the movie itself, not as an adaptation.
In the first couple of minutes, we're introduced to an insecure, brooding Meg played by Storm Reid, her adopted brother Charles Wallace (I don't remember if he was adopted in the book or not), and Meg's new friend Calvin, who doesn't do much of anything except follow Meg around. Then we meet the three ladies, one at a time. Oprah is like twenty feet tall for some reason, and Reese Witherspoon turns into a flying cabbage.
It's just really slow. We figure out Meg's dad is missing, and they just keep living normal life while I waited for that infamous dark and stormy night to finally come around. Then the ladies are like "Hey, Meg, I know you're 13 but it's up to you to rescue your missing dad, have fun," and it's still slow. It takes forever to kick off.
I don't care about the kids flying on this giant cabbage, okay movie. I don't care.
I don't think there are very many people who don't know the plot of A Wrinkle in Time but in case you don't, Meg's dad was a physics genius who figured out how to fold time ("wrinkle" time) to travel through it. The movie gets very science-y and I was lost because it's only thanks to Quizlet.com that I passed Physics by the skin of my teeth. Anyway, the dad got stuck in time and was absorbed by the evil energy known simply as IT, and now his young children are plucked out of their ordinary lives and told to rescue him. Only, the rescue operation fails, because Meg is insecure and doesn't trust herself. It's only when she ends up alone does she develop confidence and all that. You know where this is getting.
I didn't overly like the movie up until the point that Oprah became normal-sized and the three kids ended up alone. They get to creepy land (I don't remember how to spell the IT place and I'm too lazy right now to look it up) and there are the identical houses, the bouncing-ball kids, the crowded beach, the literal sandwiches, all parts I loved in the book, and this was where the movie really got strong and I began to enjoy it very much. I loved the second half. The second half made a really good movie. It was the perfect combination of strangely creepy and emotional. We reach the scene where Meg finds her dad, and they both fall to ugly-crying pieces and reunite, and it was surprisingly moving. Storm Reid is a good actress.
But as good as she was in that scene, it was the little boy playing Charles Wallace who surprised me the most. He was believable as a happy, brilliant kid but also believable when he's possessed by the IT, when he thinks Meg has died—all these difficult scenes that could have fallen flat but he carried them. He's just a good actor. And he's so adorable with those dark, dark eyes and that tooth missing. I also liked Chris Pine as the dad. Meg, Charles Wallace, and their dad had the biggest parts and most lines in the movie—though most of Chris Pine's scenes were flashbacks.
I actually loved this movie. I loved the strength Meg discovers and the deep bond between the family, even when they were apart. The movie was weird, but the second half reached that perfect pitch of slight creepiness that I love, and it also had a real heart. It made me want to read the book again. Sorry, book. I may have misjudged you in my youth.
4/5 stars would watch again