September 19-20, 2020
Sydney Showground Olympic Park
Written by Sarah Minazzo
Based on the book of the same name by Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle In Time is a glittering kaleidoscope of a Disney film. It plays out rather like The Wizard Of Oz, albeit with a strange new sci-fi setting. The so-called ‘wrinkle’ of the title explains a theoretical way of travelling through space-time via a portal called a ‘tesseract’, mixing both quantum-physics and whimsical fantasy. The film explains that certain people can use vibrations to change the way atoms and molecules move within the world, allowing them to travel across the universe using only the power of their mind.
After Meg Murry (Storm Reid) loses her father, Dr. Alex Murry (Chris Pine), to this dangerous method of travel, it’s up to her and her friend Calvin O’Keefe (Levi Miller), as well as her adopted brother, Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe), to bring him home. Along the way, they meet the powerful ‘Three Mrs.’, consisting of Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey), Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) and Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling).
For those who have read the original novel and its subsequent series, there are many changes from the source material. The first half of the film stays very faithful to the novel, delving further into Dr. Murry’s research, and how the world treats Meg. It follows the book’s story beats well, introducing the Three Mrs. in a similar fashion.
Mrs. Whatsit is still the comedic relief, however, her clumsiness is now replaced with sass and sarcasm towards Meg. Mrs. Who’s quotes are far more relevant to the modern audience, quoting everything from Shakespeare to Outkast. Mrs. Which is still the kind, caring leader of the three, however, she’s far more alien to Earth and its happenings. The Three Mrs. have the most elaborate, beautiful costumes in the film, elevating every scene with their jaw-dropping designs, as befits their celestial status.
The production values are nothing short of beautiful. The film’s directing genuinely gives you the feeling of floating along in the tesseract, making for a stunning and surreal film. The soundtrack is a blend of crooning acoustic guitar, orchestral strings and R&B that aids the surreal atmosphere of the film. In addition to the soundtrack, the visuals are completely breathtaking. The film features brilliant special effects that immerse you in the action and whisk you away to another world. Of course, what else could we expect from a Disney film of this scale?
The editing is seamless, aiding the illusion of space-time travel, known as ‘tessering’ in the film, and giving scenes a whimsical kaleidoscope-like effect. This is especially effective in the film’s second half, which takes place on the planet Camazotz, where the film’s scenery twists, turns and changes – disorienting our heroes, and the audience.
Fans of the original book will be surprised by this adaptation. It steers clear of repeating the mistakes of the critically panned 2004 television mini-series, yet it injects its own charm and sensibilities into the original story. Despite the many changes, the film is largely faithful to the book’s core themes and is filled with classic Disney charm, making it a highly enjoyable and visually spectacular adventure.
A Wrinkle in Time hits cinemas March 29.