A Wrinkle in Time: What You Need To Know
American author Madeleine L'Engle's 1962 science-fantasy novel A Wrinkle in Time has long been a favourite for younger readers and has already been adapted for the screen in a 2003 made-for-TV movie directed by John Kent Harrison, but earlier this year Disney's new big-budget adaptation made its arrival in cinemas for the first time and the movie is set to arrive in stores on Monday (July 30th). Here's everything you need to know...
Who's in it?
Storm Reid takes on the role of the story's young protagonist Meg, starring alongside an impressive cast that includes Oprah Winfrey, Chris Pine, Reese Witherspoon, Zach Galifianakis, David Oyelowo, Michael Peña, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mindy Kaling and Levi Miller.
And who's directing?
Disney have tapped up none other than multi award-winning Selma director Ava DuVernay to helm their new adaptation of L'Engle's hit novel. She works from a script co-written by Jeff Stockwell and Jennifer Lee, the latter being the woman responsible for the scripts for Frozen and Wreck-It Ralph.
What's the plot?
The story revolves around a 13-year old named Meg Murry, who is struggling to adjust to life both at home and at school since the mysterious disappearance of her father, Alex (Pine), a renowned astrophysicist. Alex had been working on a theoretical way to travel across space and both Meg and her mother, Dr. Kate Murry (Mbatha-Raw), believe Alex may have teleported to another planet.
Meg and her younger, adopted brother Charles then receive a visit from a strange woman calling herself Mrs. Whatsit (Witherspoon) who tells them that the type of space travel Alex was working, known as the tesseract, is real. The next day they and their friend Calvin visit Mrs. Whatsit at the house of another strange woman named Mrs. Who (Kaling), where they are introduced to a third woman, Mrs. Which (Winfrey). The three women reveal themselves to be 'astral travellers', leading Meg and her friends through a tesseract to another planet named Urial.
Realising that she may be able to find her father, Meg visits a seer named Happy Medium (Galifianakis) who tells her that her father is trapped on a planet named Camazotz. However, the planet is under the control of an evil cloud-like entity known as the IT with ambitions to take over the universe. The three women suggest heading back to Earth and regroup, but Meg ends up redirecting them to Camazotz and determines to try and rescue her father from captivity.
Does it deliver?
It's no secret that A Wrinkle in Time's performance at the box office fell some way short of the numbers Disney were hoping for and even amongst fans of L'Engle's book, the reaction from audiences and critics alike was somewhat mixed. Some of the criticism from L'Engle's fans centred around the removal of some of the Christian themes that featured in the original story, while others found the plot of DuVernay's film too complicated to follow.
But none of that means that A Wrinkle in Time doesn't deserve your attention. The visual effects are stunning and Storm Reid's performance is genuinely outstanding, while her co-stars deserve plenty of credit in that department too. L'Engle's novel was never going to be an easy one to adapt for the screen and writers Stockwell and Lee deserve a fair amount of kudos for their efforts in deciding which elements to keep and which to jettison in order to cram the story into a feature-length movie.
You could argue that film's marketing or the decision to release the film so close to Black Panther both had negative effects on the film's box office returns, but put the numbers and the fanboy criticisms to one side and you're left with a charming, inspiring movie for younger viewers with a wonderfully diverse cast and a story with heaps of imagination.
A Wrinkle in Time is availabel in hmv stores from Monday July 30th. You can also find it here in our online store...