Review: A Wrinkle in Time

Review: A Wrinkle in Time

Sharon Niedringhaus, Writer

Over spring break, I went to see A Wrinkle in Time and I was impressed. Not only were the visual effects pretty great, but it actually followed the book pretty well for a Disney movie. In fact, after I saw the movie, I decided to reread the book since the last time I read it was in fourth grade. Although it is technically a children’s book, some of the themes in it are rather deep and complex, so it was interesting to read it again and see what details stood out to me now that probably didn’t the first time I read it.

A Wrinkle in Time, both the book and the movie, follow Meg Murry, along with her genius little brother Charles Wallace and her friend Calvin, as she looks for her father who disappeared. Helping them on this journey are the mysterious characters Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who, and Mrs Which, who take the children to various planets across the universe. To save Meg’s father, they must also defeat a great evil that is spreading across the universe. Meg is a young teenager who has low self-confidence which she struggles to overcome throughout the story. She struggles in school with classes as well as with other students despite her intelligence. Charles Wallace, Meg’s five-year-old brother, understands more and has a greater aptitude to learn than most kids his age, setting him apart so much that he is almost alienated. Their parents are well-known scientists, which in some ways makes their struggles even harder. Calvin is more popular in school than either of the Murry children and does a lot better than Meg in his classes. However, he does not come from the most loving home.

The book, written by Madeleine L’Engle, has become a classic children’s book, although some of its deeper themes may appeal to older readers as well. The strange plotline would appeal to kids more than it would to some adults, but the pure evil that is introduced in the story may also be frightening to younger readers. Still, although it is technically a children’s book, I think that both children and adults can find value in reading it. In fact, part of what makes the book so intriguing may be the fact that it blurs the line between books that are written for children and those that are geared toward older readers. The book revolves around scientific theories about space and time, especially those made by Einstein. L’Engle mixes these scientific ideas with some Christian themes, but the main story doesn’t really revolve around those as much. The main subjects of the book include love and the importance of finding yourself.

Bringing this book to life on screen presents a challenge due to the fantastic worlds that Meg and her friends travel through. The movie, however did a great job with this. The effects create beautiful fantasy landscapes that become nightmarish when they need to, helping to blur the line between movies for kids and older audiences, similar to the way the book did. Before I saw the movie I was a little skeptical about it. I was afraid it would be another one of those movies that claimed that it was based on a book but didn’t really have anything in common with it beyond the names of characters. These feelings were made worse since Disney is notorious for these “based on characters created by” films. This, however, was not the case. While some details were changed or added to make the story more interesting in movie form, the major details were the same and had mostly the same effects as they did the book. My one complaint would be how they portrayed the planet Camazotz, which was interesting, but took a little bit away from the mood and ideas that were created in the book. The movie also left out some of the more religious themes and a good bit of the science that is mentioned in more detail within the book.

All in all, I would highly recommend going to see A Wrinkle in Time. I would also recommend reading the book if you haven’t or, if you have, rereading it. Each time you read something, you pick up on something else, and A Wrinkle in Time has plenty of things to pick up on.