Dazzling alien worlds with a dash of Oprah empowerment. That’s about all there is to it in A Wrinkle in Time.
A Wrinkle in Time (2018 Film) Synopsis
Thirteen-year-old Meg Murry struggles to readjust to daily life after her astrophysicist father, Alex, mysteriously disappears. One day, her precocious younger brother Charles Wallace welcomes a strange woman named Mrs. Whatsit into their home, and through her, Meg learns her father is alive and trapped on an alien planet. Together with Meg’s classmate Calvin O’keefe, the siblings then embark on an intergalactic journey to rescue their father and to defeat the dark entity known as IT.
I’m not familiar with the source material of A Wrinkle in Time. Based on what I could infer from online synopses, though, it appears that the usual for movie adaptations has happened again. In other words, the screenplay is a vast simplification of the novel.
Key events are there, mostly, but for one reason or another, they are presented with little elaboration or exploration. Had I not read the fan pages after watching, I wouldn’t have even understood the symbolism behind several scenes.
To cite an example, the suburbia segment on Camazotz was chilling but also felt purely for visual effect. Madeleine L’Engle’s original message on conformity and identity was all but lost.
Which is the problem with a lot of movie adaptations, isn’t it? Particularly in recent years. The seductive duo of A-list names and CGI glory has apparently convinced many studios that there is nothing else to a great story. It’s all about going through the movements and the budget, so to speak.
Now, do note that I’m not saying the end result is invariably boring. In the case of A Wrinkle in Time, there were still a couple of charming and euphoric moments. One truly classic Oprah inspiration segment too.
Just that, Shouldn’t there be more to such adaptations than these? L’Engle obviously didn’t write her masterpiece to flaunt her descriptions of alien realms, just as Tolkien didn’t pen all those hundreds of thousands of words to describe the geography of Middle Earth. I truly wonder why so many movie producers nowadays miss this point.
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