Disney Sci-Fi Flick’s Positive Message Misses Mark

Disney’s newest movie, “A Wrinkle in Time,” did one thing right — it provided young girls with a relatable lead who ultimately learns to love herself.

The rest of the movie is either pandering, lazy or confusing.

In order to tackle this monster of a movie, each element will have to be stripped away and analyzed. Let’s start with the characters: Meg Murry (Storm Reid) is a young mixed-race girl who is portrayed as brilliant, meticulous, skeptical and cautious.

She’s the only character who is actually dynamic. She starts off hating herself, thinking she’s ugly and unlikable. She eventually learns to love herself and accepts her flaws.

As I said, this is the only good aspect of the movie: teaching young girls to love themselves. However, this self-love is perpetuated by her male love interest, which ruins the initial concept of self-love.

This brings me to Calvin O’Keefe (Levi Miller). He’s attractive — that’s it. His entire purpose is to initially stalk Meg, compliment her on her hair and convince Meg that she’s attractive — because the only way for a girl to know she’s likable is if an attractive boy tells her so, right?

There is no chemistry between Calvin and Meg. Were Calvin’s character completely removed from the movie, the message would be clearer.

The third primary character is Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe). He acts like no child character ever would. A 6 year old with the vernacular of a college professor, Charles is supposed to be a prodigy. But no matter how smart a kid is, he won’t talk like Charles Wallace.

Also, for some unexplained reason, he turns evil, complete with glowing red eyes so the audience knows just how evil the 6 year old has become.

Rounding out the cast are three magical fairies, Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling), Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) and Mrs.Which (Oprah Winfrey).

While the trio’s performances are excellent, the fairies’ purpose in the film seems exorbitant. They pretend they’re saving the day, when in reality they solely exist for magical technobabble.

And this brings me to the plot. Here’s the plot summarized in two sentences. Meg’s father is gone for four years, so fairies show up and take Meg to magical places. They discover the father is in an evil dimension and Meg, along with Calvin, finds him and brings him home.

This is a classic good-versus-evil narrative. That’s all fine and good, but the evil is completely confusing.

Overall, the movie is just a confused mess. It tries to create characters that are relatable and produce a positive message, but the plot is so confusing, and the message is so muddled that it just turns into a pretty terrible film to have to sit through and watch.

“A Wrinkle in Time” is playing at Cinemark Towne Centre in Conway and is rated PG for thematic elements and some peril.

Photo courtesy of denofgeek.com.

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