Monday, 2 April 2018

A Wrinkle In Time Film Review

If you haven't seen Ava DuVernay's much talked about big screen Disney directing debut of A Wrinkle In Time, then the Easter holiday is the perfect time. Written by Madeleine L’Engle it's not a book I know, but the film is the result of the work of three women; Ava, producer Catherine Hands who originally read the book in 1963 and screenwriter Jennifer Lee of Frozen fame. Ava signed on if she could make Meg Murry a girl of colour, Disney agreed and Storm Reid, with the great hair, is our hero/heroine.

Meg is the beloved daughter of scientists Chris Pine's Alex and Gugu Mbatha-Raw's Kate, and all three are waiting for a new child. Precocious Charles Wallace played by Deric McCabe is special. A celestial being even.

When we meet Charles Wallace and Meg again something's wrong. Meg is no longer the animated sparkly girl she was, and the school coterie of Mean Girls and Heathers take advantage of the fact that her father has apparently left home. And with hair like that she's easy prey. When she throws a ball at Veronica's head she is called in to see the headmaster, and later her mother says she must write and apologise to neighbour Veronica. Meg is aghast but suddenly there is an unexpected visitor. Reese Witherspoon in a sugar spun confection of a gown and she seems to know Charles Wallace very well. Kate and Meg are a little surprised and even more so when Mrs Whatsit tells them that the tesseract that father Alex was working on does in fact exist.

Next day another visitor, this time it's a school 'pal' of Megs. Levi Miller playing Calvin is one of the popular kids, but he really likes Meg's hair. Including Charles Wallace they take the dog for a walk and visit Mindy Kaling's Mrs Who. With great patchwork style Mrs Who speaks confusingly in quotations. But Calvin really gets her.

Over dinner Kate tells Calvin of her and Alex's work. The tesseract and how you could travel across space with a wrinkle in time, like a fold in the universe. These are big concepts and the science community weren't as far ahead in their thinking as Kate and Alex were. Alex knew it was all to do with frequencies, and just getting the right one could make travel across the Universe happen.

Later outside Charles Wallace introduces Meg and Calvin to three women. Mrs Whatsit and Mrs Who we have already met, but we also meet Oprah Winfrey's giant Mrs Which. She could pack a handy punch with her knuckle duster rings. Three powerful warriors made of stardust. They heard Meg's father's call across the universe and it led them here to Meg. And only Meg can save him. Mrs Whatsit isn't so sure that Meg is up to the task but Charles Wallace is convinced she is. And they all travel off through the tesseract.

Well we're definitely not in Kansas anymore. It's such a colourful film in it's realms of fantasy. With mountains of glitter and talking flowers that speak the language of colour. Mrs Whatsit can understand and translate. They saw Meg's father and Mrs Whatsit transforms into a beautiful flying bird with cabbage leaf tail to fly the kids into the air to see if they can find him. But what's up there is the It. Similar to The Nothing in The Never Ending Story. The darkness against the light. And the only person who can find Mr Murry now is the Happy Medium. Played by Zach Galifianakis with his yoga on barley sugar sticks. And unsurprisingly Meg struggles to find her warrior pose on the rolling sticks. But the now normal size Mrs Who guides her and shows her the evil that is the It. Mr Murry is located on the planet Camazotz where the It lives. The three Mrs cannot travel there so plan to return the travellers to Earth and come up with another plan. But Meg's desire to rescue her father diverts the group to Camazotz. Here Mrs Which speaks with her own voice but the evil power of the It is too strong against the Mrs and they have to leave. But they each give a gift useful in this dangerous planet.

Nothing is as it seems on Camazotz, with Stepford Wives families and the hint of a Hansel & Gretel invite into a house. Very hungry by now they find a lovely beach picnic is not what it seems and the It sends his robotic bodyguard to capture them. Charles Wallace is turned into a frankly very nasty little boy. He had the potential being so know-all and priggish. But Meg won't give up on him and her and Calvin follow and attempt a rescue of both him and Mr Murry.

Here the film lost me a bit as it seemed to cram too much into the end. But using the gifts she was given helps Meg find her father, save her brother, and return to Earth with him. Her love for him and acceptance of her faults finally defeating the It. Mrs Whatsit always knew she had it in her.

The glitter make-up was absolutely fantastic, LaLette Littlejohn was head of make-up and Derrick Rutledge worked exclusively with Oprah. Suggesting the jewelled eyebrows. Although I thought the make-up was Pat McGrath it was actually Lit Cosmetics as they had a larger colour palette of glitters to match the amazing hair and costumes by Paco Delgado.

A great fun experience.

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