I saw A Wrinkle in Time the day it came out, and I have some things to say.
I grew up on Madeline L’Engle books. The first book of her’s that I read was A Wrinkle in Time. And it never occurred to me that it fell out if date. But here’s something I just realized about L’Engle: her characters speak in a way that’s very forward and frank. It’s actually unusual to see in a contemporary movie.
I looked at a couple of reviews that were critical of this, claiming the filmmakers were talking down to the intended audience. I don’t think that’s true. The characters are simply very straightforward, they speak the words that most of us only dare to think. Maybe that sometimes comes across as cheesy, even idealistic, but it’s a real disservice to deny those thoughts. And I’d argue the dialogue was well-written. On several occasions, I found myself thinking, “that’s a good line.” But if you don’t like that, then no, you probably aren’t the audience for this movie, and you can skip it. However:
The characters had to speak the way they did to keep the message of the movie intact. It’s easier to give in, be ugly, say things we don’t mean, hide the truth or hide the light. That’s that’s how the darkness, “the It,” wins. Speaking openly is the only thing that shines the light.
Not that many other things weren’t adapted substantially from the source material, but the heart of the story laid in their candor. And I found it massively refreshing.
On top of that, it builds breathtaking worlds and creates an expansion of our own.
At the end of the movie, I was a little embarrassed to find myself sniffling. Then I realized I was hearing many sniffles around me. One girl asked why her mother was crying.
Then on the way out, I was walking behind a group of kids that were Meg and Calvin’s age, all shouting over each other what their favorite part was.
Aren’t those the things a movie is meant to do?