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‘A Wrinkle in Time’ — a must-watch for sci-fi fans

Reese Witherspoon and Storm Reid in “A Wrinkle in Time.”
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In “A Wrinkle in Time,” Meg Murry and her little brother, Charles Wallace, have been without their scientist father, Mr. Murry, for five years, ever since he discovered a new planet and used the concept known as a tesseract to travel there. Joined by Meg’s classmate Calvin O’Keefe and guided by the three mysterious astral travelers known as Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which, the children brave a dangerous journey to a planet that possesses all of the evil in the universe. KidsFirst! Film Critics Arjun N. and Ryan R. give their opinions on the film:

“A Wrinkle in Time” is an enjoyable, yet somewhat flawed interpretation of the classic novel of the same name. The direction and special effects provide a world unlike any other. This is sure to be a watch for sci-fi fans.

The story follows Meg Murry (played by Storm Reid), a genial teen who is the daughter of famed scientist Alex Murry (Chris Pine). After her father disappears, she goes through a period of insecurity and despair. Four years later, a group of primordial celestial beings — Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey), Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), and Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) visit Earth to help Meg find her father. Meg’s brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) and friend Calvin (Levi Miller) also join the quest to find Alex. However, Meg is also brought in to help fight the “It,” an entity of darkness that threatens to destroy people’s happiness.

Reid, as Meg, excellently presents her inner struggle to be happy and accept herself, and this adds a unique element to the story. As the movie progresses, she slowly rises beyond her doubts to become better. Pine, as Alex, delivers an ardent love for science in his character, and while much of his character is witnessed before he disappears, the rest of his scenes add a performance filled with remorse. McCabe is my favorite character due to his charismatic performance — it’s full of comic relief. Miller, as Calvin, encompasses a respectful companion who seems to be rather enamored of Meg. Mrs. Which is a wise mentor for Meg who guides her throughout her journey. Mrs. Whatsit is the least wise of the three celestial beings, but she provides a kind companion. Mrs. Who represents a character teeming with knowledge.

Ava DuVernay directs the movie, and you feel as if you are a part of the world through her use of word building to convey the story. My favorite scene is the resolution to the main conflict, as it feels like an appropriate conclusion. My problem with the movie is that it’s unevenly paced, with the first half of the movie following generic clichés, despite a great first 10 minutes. But the movie gets running as soon as the second half begins, going into uncharted territory unlike any other movie. I also feel that the scenes for Alex and some other plot points are limited, resulting in a few moments of disjointed, convoluted narrative, and that could throw off some audience members.

The message of the movie is about believing in yourself and accepting who you are. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18.

— Arjun N., age 16

See his video review at: https://youtu.be/mx8GNY0chao

• • •

I liked, but did not love, this latest Disney film, which is an adaptation of the book “A Wrinkle in Time,” written by Madeleine L’Engle. It is visually stunning, but unfortunately falls short in the storytelling. The protagonists are Meg Murry and her little brother Charles Wallace. Their scientist father Mr. Murry has been missing for four years. Meg has had a rough time at school ever since her father’s disappearance. Her younger brother introduces Meg to three mysterious astral travelers. Meg is very skeptical of them at first, until she and Charles Wallace are informed by them that their father is not dead, but was taken by a dark force. Meg, Charles Wallace, and her classmate Calvin go on an adventure with the three astral travelers, called the Misses. Will Meg and Charles Wallace find their dad? Well, you must see the movie to find out the answer.

I like the visuals, the cast, and the message of this film. The visuals are stunning. The scene where Mrs. Whatsit becomes a leaf and gives the kids a ride is spectacular. It almost looks like this could be possible in real life. I also like the transitions of the worlds changing as a result of the characters’ actions. The visual effects bring this world to life. Another thing I like is the cast. Oprah Winfrey’s, Reese Witherspoon’s, and Mindy Kaling’s performances as the Misses are exceptional. They each show different personalities, which make them unique. Mrs. Whatsit is more negative, unlike Mrs. Who, who is wise and uses quotes from famous people to relay her messages. Mrs. Whatsit is more direct and rude, unlike Mrs. Which, who guides Meg when she is scared or unsure. Lastly, the messages in this movie are important. They are about embracing your uniqueness, recognizing the importance of love, and being brave enough to discover your inner warrior.

One thing I do not like is the pace. In the first act, the pace is slow, and that is fine, since it builds up the exposition. However, the final act of the movie feels very rushed and is unsatisfying. I feel the script has some holes in it, which made me feel like the movie is missing some important details. This is why I did not really love the film.

Even though this film is not “Pixar great,” it still is a good movie to watch with your family. I give it 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 7 to 15. Adults might like it as well. I recommend this to people who have read the book or like book adaptations and fantasy movies.

— Ryan R., age 14

“A Wrinkle in Time” is now in theaters nationwide.

Posted 12:00 am, April 3, 2018
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