It’s been four years since her daddy (Chris Pine) vanished and for Meg (Storm Reid), it’s been rough.
She’s being bullied, struggling to cope with whispers that her father abandoned them, and trying to protect her quirky brother (Charles Wallace ) from the judgements and unhappiness she’s experiencing.
Protecting Charles Wallace is a full-time job, made harder when she finds him hugging a random, probably crazy, woman mouthing off in their lounge room.
What follows is an epic coming of age quest rich with magic, adventure and a gigantic Oprah.
For certain parts of social media, ‘A Wrinkle In Time’ is one of 'those' movies. There were too many ladies in the promotional art, Chris Pine wasn’t the main focus and the pastel purple in one variant was emasculating or something.
Apparently, unless there’s a Bunnings catalogue somewhere on the poster, it’s not manly enough or in any way relatable to boys.
Gonna be honest. If you listen carefully, you can still hear the laughter and eye-rolling from every woman and person of colour who’s ever had to relate to characters nothing like themselves for the sake of enjoying the show (that’d be all of us, for those playing the home game).
So let’s clear the air; this isn’t a movie 'just for girls'. It’s a visually stunning, thought-provoking movie for people.
‘A Wrinkle In Time’ is based on young adult fiction, and the popular tropes of the genre are given their due here. The first 20-ish minutes are a tribute to the urge to punch an adult in the face.
The teachers should all be fired, the mother needs a stern, goddamn talking to, and overall they’ve done brilliantly at making you understand exactly why three kids would leap into mystical curtain things with strangers rather than spend another minute surrounded by such idiocy.
The world's building and landscapes are staggeringly beautiful, with painstaking attention to detail that warrants at least a few viewings to try and take it all in.
The story is richly complex but easy to follow, and overall, pretty empowering. One of the key themes is self-acceptance, and I love that there’s no expectation for Meg to suddenly become cheerful and outgoing by the story’s end.
It’s not entirely empowering, though, and there are issues. Mostly, it’s around denying personal accountability and veering too closely to justifying abusive behaviours. The whole premise that you can love an abuser into treating you well is infinitely disgusting, no matter how visually stunning they’ve made it.
Accepting your faults is an important life lesson and one we should see more of in the media. Just as vital, but overlooked here, is acknowledging that other people are flawed, too, and those flaws do not justify abusive behaviour. Especially abuse aimed at kids by adults.
Even with the idea of a boogedy-boogedy [sic] thing manipulating behaviours, there’s space to explore accountability and refute the idea that a victim needs to suffer for the sake of their abuser’s moral journey. Rant over.
There’s a lot of talk that this is a hard movie to understand and too difficult or dark for kids and teens. Cue further eye rolls.
‘A Wrinkle In Time’ really isn’t one to take the under-5s to, granted, but it’s essentially the same level of horror as your typical episode of 'Doctor Who'. It might warrant a few conversations, but overall it’s not that problematic.
Despite running up against one of my pet peeves, I actually really loved ‘A Wrinkle In Time’. It’s compelling without being overdone, sweet, silly and unapologetically celebrating a young girl’s love of science in a way we rarely see. And that is a beautiful, beautiful thing.