“A Wrinkle In Time” sparks controversy

Graphic by Carrie Clowers '18

Graphic by Carrie Clowers '18

BY JAHIYA CLARK ’20

A tale as old as time. Good versus evil. Light versus dark. Love versus hate. Disney’s new adaptation of “A Wrinkle in Time” portrays the strength of love in many forms — familial, romantic and,  most importantly, self love. The main protagonist Meg Murray (Storm Reid, “12 Years a Slave”) struggles with the difficulties of being a pre-teen black girl on top of the four year disappearance of her father, NASA astrophysicist Dr. Alex Murry (Chris Pine, “Star Trek”). Through a series of flashbacks, viewers learn that Meg’s parents were researching time and space travel by folding dimensions. This process is called a “tesseract” and while Dr. Murray was successful, he also captured an evil force. Meg sets out on the journey to rescue her father with the help of her prodigal younger brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe, “Stephanie”), Meg’s classmate Calvin O’Keefe (Levi Miller, “Pan”) and three mysterious intergalactic beings, Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling, “The Mindy Project”), Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon, “Wild”) and Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey, “The Color Purple”).          

This film adaption of Madeleine L’Engle’s acclaimed novel of the same name has quite a few dissimilarities. A major change from the novel that has caused a stir among viewers is the lack of religious undertones. The book was riddled with themes of Christianity and ties to the character’s faith. However, Disney made the decision not to include these details allowing for a more inclusionary experience for viewers. A review on Rotten Tomatoes raged against these changes, stating the film “Trashes Christianity, destroys the original book and tries to make [Oprah] Winfrey a godhead. A terrible mess of a film with poor acting and a muddled plot. Avoid.” 

Throughout the film, viewers will also notice the diversity of the cast goes beyond the token black or Asian character. 

Again, adult viewers who wanted to reminisce about a book they read when they were children apparently had their hearts broken when Disney decided to change some of what they considered essential parts of the story. The fact that Meg — who is white in the book — is played by an African American girl earned the film negative reviews. The film’s prominent female roles have also garnered various reactions, especially the fairy godmother-esque forms of Mrs. Who, Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Which, who teach Meg to accept her faults and reject conformity. Debuting during Women’s History Month, “A Wrinkle in Time” lends a platform for women in science fiction to be the heroes and the saviors of the world. This children’s fantasy movie aims to inspire its viewers to believe in their potential to be great and do great things.       

With so much of the scenic parts of “A Wrinkle in Time” left to the imagination, the director Ava DuVernay uses scenery from Southern California and New Zealand to capture what L’Engle and many children imagined. However, what couldn’t be seen on Earth was made with CGI, which many have claimed falls short of their expectations for Disney. Nevertheless, costume designer Paco Delgado does a magnificent job at portraying celestial wear that captivates an audience of any age. Another review on Rotten Tomatoes said, “[‘A Wrinkle in Time’ is] a movie of grand proportions but falls a bit short of expectations — all while spreading the good word of light versus darkness. I personally took away the metaphor of depression. Also, fabulous costumes!”  

This is not Disney’s first attempt to adapt “A Wrinkle in Time.” The company released a television film in 2003 that was critiqued harshly by L’Engle. Since L’Engle passed away in 2007, one can only hope she would have been proud of this remake as her legacy lives on in DuVernay’s interpretation of her novel. 

A tale as old as time. Good versus evil. Light versus dark. Love versus hate. Disney’s new adaptation of “A Wrinkle in Time” portrays the strength of love in many forms — familial, romantic and,  most importantly, self love. The main protagonist Meg Murray (Storm Reid, “12 Years a Slave”) struggles with the difficulties of being a pre-teen black girl on top of the four year disappearance of her father, NASA astrophysicist Dr. Alex Murry (Chris Pine, “Star Trek”). Through a series of flashbacks, viewers learn that Meg’s parents were researching time and space travel by folding dimensions. This process is called a “tesseract” and while Dr. Murray was successful, he also captured an evil force. Meg sets out on the journey to rescue her father with the help of her prodigal younger brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe, “Stephanie”), Meg’s classmate Calvin O’Keefe (Levi Miller, “Pan”) and three mysterious intergalactic beings, Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling, “The Mindy Project”), Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon, “Wild”) and Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey, “The Color Purple”).          

This film adaption of Madeleine L’Engle’s acclaimed novel of the same name has quite a few dissimilarities. A major change from the novel that has caused a stir among viewers is the lack of religious undertones. The book was riddled with themes of Christianity and ties to the character’s faith. However, Disney made the decision not to include these details allowing for a more inclusionary experience for viewers. A review on Rotten Tomatoes raged against these changes, stating the film “Trashes Christianity, destroys the original book and tries to make [Oprah] Winfrey a godhead. A terrible mess of a film with poor acting and a muddled plot. Avoid.” 

Throughout the film, viewers will also notice the diversity of the cast goes beyond the token black or Asian character. 

Again, adult viewers who wanted to reminisce about a book they read when they were children apparently had their hearts broken when Disney decided to change some of what they considered essential parts of the story. The fact that Meg — who is white in the book — is played by an African American girl earned the film negative reviews. The film’s prominent female roles have also garnered various reactions, especially the fairy godmother-esque forms of Mrs. Who, Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Which, who teach Meg to accept her faults and reject conformity. Debuting during Women’s History Month, “A Wrinkle in Time” lends a platform for women in science fiction to be the heroes and the saviors of the world. This children’s fantasy movie aims to inspire its viewers to believe in their potential to be great and do great things.       

With so much of the scenic parts of “A Wrinkle in Time” left to the imagination, the director Ava DuVernay uses scenery from Southern California and New Zealand to capture what L’Engle and many children imagined. However, what couldn’t be seen on Earth was made with CGI, which many have claimed falls short of their expectations for Disney. Nevertheless, costume designer Paco Delgado does a magnificent job at portraying celestial wear that captivates an audience of any age. Another review on Rotten Tomatoes said, “[‘A Wrinkle in Time’ is] a movie of grand proportions but falls a bit short of expectations — all while spreading the good word of light versus darkness. I personally took away the metaphor of depression. Also, fabulous costumes!”  

This is not Disney’s first attempt to adapt “A Wrinkle in Time.” The company released a television film in 2003 that was critiqued harshly by L’Engle. Since L’Engle passed away in 2007, one can only hope she would have been proud of this remake as her legacy lives on in DuVernay’s interpretation of her novel. 

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