As a general rule, I purposely don’t read other reviews until after I’ve written mine. I want my review to be my opinion and not clouded by the opinions of others. But I have, however, asked for the opinions of a few friends and scoured the headlines to see what my peer viewers and critics are generally saying about A Wrinkle in Time. I’m honestly disappointed that so many are disappointed. It makes me wonder if some are overthinking and/or simply expressing bandwagon opinions.
It’s entirely possible that the expectations of magic and wonder are coming on the heels of the show-stopping phenomenon of The Greatest Showman and the story-telling masterpiece of Wonder. Although, in completely different leagues, it makes me question what those who are disappointed were expecting.
Our culture has become so in tune with political agendas that it appears we can’t enjoy a story for the story itself. I’m not one for immorality or spiritual compromise in any film, but it’s sad to me that we have become so critical that we can’t simply be entertained by a good story without picking it apart.
I went into the theater expecting the wonder of a story and the magic of Disney. I got both and left the theater with a feeling that my crazy dreams could come true. I imagined what this feeling could do to an 11-year-old – which is who the story was created for, to begin with.
From the long-time and avid fans of A Wrinkle in Time, the film-makers brought black and white pages from the book into living color on the big screen. The characters were portrayed beautifully, good battles evil, and good wins by way of the underdog with the help of her friends.
Sure, there are political and spiritual comparisons to be found in the film if you want to find them. I even expressed to my husband that those with agendas would be satisfied to find fuel to their fire. Similar to that from the book and film, The Shack.
In the book and the movie, the characters are female dominant. There are elements of the portrayal of God as a female of color, how the Mrs. could potentially mimic the Trinity, and one can’t miss the battle between good and evil. (Doesn’t this sound like most fantasy/sci-fi films?) I would hope that viewers would, however, use those as opportunities for positive conversation starters. The story, from its literary beginning, boasts a female protagonist which, even for Madeleine L’Engle, proved to be a significant challenge in getting the book published. None of these elements should be a surprise to anyone who knows anything about the story.
Other conversation starters would include:
*how Meg finds her courage
*how love wins Charles Wallace back from evil
*how Dad makes a prideful mistake but comes back to his family
*how mom never gives up hope
*how a friend comes to the rescue
*how a bully can change
*how Mrs. Who finds her own voice as she finds herself
*how everyone works together to accomplish a goal by playing their part
A Wrinkle in Time is a healthy marriage between the magic of Disney and the power of story. One leaves the theater believing that their own crazy dreams can become reality. The story is magical, the cast diverse and gorgeous, and the cinematography is visually stunning. The 11-year-old in me approves as does the adult in me. It does what a good film is intended to do, entertain.
As a Christian mom and grandmother, I just can’t hate this film or even be disappointed with it. Quite the opposite in fact. I urge adult viewers to turn down their inner critic and let the 11-year-old inside of them loose for a bit. Take in the magic and wonder of a good story. Also, take your children with you and then chat about it over ice cream afterward.
Let the wonders enfold.