I’m a big Ava DuVernay fan; as well as being a very talented director, she also comes across as an awesome human being, one that is always giving back to her fans. So when I heard that Disney had given her the reigns to one of their big blockbuster projects – making her the first black female director to helm a $100 million film - I knew I would be there to watch it. I urge everyone to support this film even if my own opinion on it, like the film, is a little muddled.
A Wrinkle in Time follows Meg; after the disappearance of her scientist father, three peculiar beings send her, her brother and her friend through space to find him. The film boasts a cast made up of Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pine, Zach Galifinakis, Levi Miller and Deric McCabe. Disney have allowed DuVernay to create something very different here - it comes across as quite a surrealist, experimental kids film, one that I am very intrigued by how the intended audience are reacting to. There are splashes of Nolan in this, it even reminded me of Annihilation, the mind bending sci-fi released on Netflix a week prior from Alex Garland. However, DuVernay has put her own stamp on this, creating something unlike any other kids film I have seen before.
You are dropped straight into this world and given very little explanation for anything going on. I am usually fine with films not having to hold your hand but I really could have used a bit more explanation in some scenes because at times it felt like someone had spiked my Pick & Mix. That being said, the film is very open about the fact that it’s more interested in emotion rather than plot. It’s emotion that pushes things forward: there is a literal battle of emotion to conclude it and every aspect of the film is made to reflect this.
The visuals and the audio work hand in hand with each other, DuVernay has a very clear vision as to what she wanted this film to look and feel like. The imagery we see on screen is some of the most interesting I’ve seen from a big budget film, especially one that very heavily leans on visual effects. I have seen some critics criticise the use of CGI but I personally had no problem with it and enjoyed watching the glossy effects play out on screen. Music wise the score is great and I even loved the use of pop songs being used in some of the montages, this is something I usually hate in films made for younger audiences but because this whole film had the vibe of music video it worked. It was very dreamlike in the way it was edited and everything flowed into each other very nicely. It was easy to be swept over by this film even if I did have to fill in the gaps at times.
Overall the film didn’t work fully for me, I however am not the intended audience. I love how out there it was. It was super weird with some great visuals and a unique sense of style, I just wish I had been able to make more sense of it. It was clearly a very ambitious effort from Ava DuVernay and one that should be praised, even if overall the film felt a little too loose at times. I far from hated it, but I didn’t love it either. I’m rating A Wrinkle in Time a 3/5. It’s definitely worth a watch still, just to see a surrealist kids film come to life in front of you.
What did you think of the film? Masterpiece or messy? Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading!