Adapted from Madeleine L’Engle’s science fantasy novel of the same name, Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle In Time offers a commendably brave, heartening and visually captivating retelling of a much loved modern classic which has kept generations of young girls and boys hooked since its release in 1962.

Staring newcomer Storm Reid in the principle role of Meg, a bright teenage girl in search of her missing scientist father, the film does a passable job in presenting a brand new interpretation of L’Engle’s beautifully complex novel, but is slightly let down by its inability to come up with anything new or revolutionary, bar a few brilliant performances from its young cast.

Meg Murry (Storm Reid) is a typical teenager trying to make her way in the world whilst struggling to fit in at her school. As the daughter of two of the brightest minds in the science world the teenager is not only wise for her age, but is also uniquely gifted as is her younger brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe). Meg has however yet to realise her full potential and has suffered greatly since the disappearance of her father Mr. Murry (Chris Pine) 7 years earlier, a disappearance which has also left her mother, played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw, heartbroken.

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One day Charles Wallace introduces Meg and her fellow classmate Calvin (Levi Miller) to three celestial beings named Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey), Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) and and Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling). Armed with some vital information about the whereabouts of Meg and Charles Wallace’s father, the three Mrs suggest that the children should join them on their quest to find the scientist, who they say is trapped in a parallel world, but first they must learn how to travel using a wrinkle in time and space, a practice also known as ‘tessering’ which Mr Murry had been trying to perfect just before his disappearance.

If all of this sounds rather convoluted and a bit, shall we say, out there, its because it is. That is perfectly fine seeing as generations of teenagers have loved and embraced the source material for decades and don’t seem to have objected to it too much thus far. However, the film has a huge problem in its inability to break away from its own overly complicated language and elaborate aesthetic. While A Wrinkle In Time offers up some interesting and morally sound messages, director Ava DuVernay seems unable to add anything exciting beyond what we’ve already seen from past adaptations.

Storm Reid puts in a wonderfully nuanced performance, as does Levi Miller whom we last saw as the sadistic baby-sitter tormentor in the holiday horror Better Watch Out, however it is Deric McCabe who manages to impress in a scene-stealing performance as the “too clever by half” Charles Wallace. While the idea of casting Oprah Winfrey as the all encompassing motherly figure of the group is a great one on paper,  we are sadly never able to move away from the fact that it is Oprah we are watching and therefore unable to buy into the character beyond that.

On the whole, A Wrinkle In Time does a great job in sticking to the source material, but is ultimately let down by its inability to venture out too far and wide into the real world. Perhaps the film would have benefited more by adding a more contemporary feel to a story which seems way too dated to be anything but ordinary.

A Wrink;e in Time
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Linda Marric is a senior film critic and the newly appointed Reviews Editor for HeyUGuys. She has written extensively about film and TV over the last decade. After graduating with a degree in Film Studies from King's College London, she has worked in post-production on a number of film projects and other film related roles. She has a huge passion for intelligent Scifi movies and is never put off by the prospect of a romantic comedy. Favourite movie: Brazil.
a-wrinkle-in-time-reviewVisually interesting and with a couple of fine performances from the young cast in particular, the film is let down by its inability to find a strong grounding in the magic and mystery it weaves.