To say that I was looking forward to this film would be an understatement. After all, I read Madeline L'Engle's novel when I was about 10 years old, along with the rest of my class at P.S. 216.
Looking back, if this film accurately reflects the plotline of the original, I'm amazed at my younger self. A story filled with complex physics and mathematical theorems isn't something I would take up now. And I don't believe that it was something I would have actually taken up then, either. There must have been something more that drew me in. Something that was missing from this telling of A Wrinkle In Time.
I'm guessing that the crux of the novel, the part that kept the pre-teen me turning the pages, were the relationships that developed between the humans and the three celestial guides - Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which and Mrs. Whatsit. The search for a missing father. A blossoming friendship between a brilliant but socially awkward girl and the neighborhood nice guy, who also happened to be a babe.
Since I once was a socially awkward girl, and I'm going to say that 99.9% of the female population believes they were also socially awkward once, I'd put my money on that horse. Because Meg Murry (Storm Reid) not only gets the boy, but she also finds her hearts desire. And becomes popular. And doesn't give up on her family. All by remaining true to herself. By believing in herself. Yep. Girl Power.
Truth be told, this is not the first adaptation of the novel. That happened 15 years ago, and was a Canadian-American project. But the lines of the story remain the same.
I'd venture to guess that the costumes of the three Mrs. will be very popular come this Halloween. When costume design in a film is more memorable, more intriguing, than plotline, the chance of that film being a box office bonanza is slim.
When I attended the screening, I was surrounded by many pre-teen girls. Obviously, the Girl Power of the novel still has a magical pull. They were quiet, they were attentive, but they were not, in any way, enthralled. Nor were they frightened.
Nor was I. I can't tell you what was missing. Perhaps it was a sense of menace, which was extremely important to the original story. The evil was just not evil enough.
Sadly, the rendition of this much beloved fantasy classic left me asking more of a 'Why' as in 'why bother', than much of anything else.
Lisa Blanck is the Associate Editor for In Focus Magazine. She's a News Editor at WESH2 in Orlando, an NBC Affiliate Station. She was formerly with WKMG6 for 14 years as a News Editor. She spent nine years in advertising, marketing, promotions and live special events at Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite and MTV Networks. She also worked as an on-air host for local cable access programs. Lisa has covered the Florida Film Festival for the past 26 years as well as the World Peace Festival. She's a featured columnist for ShelterMe.tv, was featured columnist for the now-defunct Examiner.com, has been a columnist for the Focus In Newspaper and now for In Focus Magazine.
Lisa Blanck can be reached at: email@example.com