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I cannot wait to see the movie based upon one of my favorite pieces of literature from childhood…”A Wrinkle In Time” promises to be a must see movie for families this year and here’s why.
I have always been an avid reader. It was my favorite hobby as a child and it still is today. In fact, I am still known to devour children’s literature just as voraciously as I did in my youth. Maybe that’s why I wanted to be an elementary teacher.
Through the years, I’ve had a list of books that I could never forget and that I still go back and read again. My oldest is at an age where he is starting to appreciate some of those books and it could not be more exciting as a mother! One of the books that made my list of “Jen’s Most Beloved Books” is “A Wrinkle In Time” by Madeleine L’Engle.
I still remember picking it up when I was a fourth grader. It was about this time that I started paying more attention to books that had received a Newberry Medal. Our school also had passed out a “50 Best Books for Fourth Graders to Read” (or some such title). At any rate, I was a pretty good reader and often found myself with free time during and after school. Reading was often the activity of choice to fill up these gaps of time and I was constantly on the prowl for books to consume.
At first, “A Wrinkle In Time” didn’t capture my attention. The cover was boring and drab. But I knew better than to judge a book by its cover. So I decided to read the first chapter and see where it led me. By that point, I was hooked. I related to the protagonist, Meg Murry, far too well to ignore the story. I finished the book in just a couple of days… I couldn’t put it down!
You can imagine my excitement when I heard that Disney had decided to make one of my favorite stories into a movie! I honestly always wondered why no one had done it sooner though I’m sure much of that reasoning had to do with the progress of technology. I saw the trailer for the first time in a movie theater; I grabbed my son’s hand and pointed at the screen like a goofy little kid at an amusement park!
March can’t come soon enough but I will be patient. In the meantime, here are some reasons why I believe the movie “A Wrinkle In Time” will live up to its written predecessor.
#1-3: Mrs. Who, Mrs. Whatsit, and Mrs. Which
If you haven’t read the book, you’re probably scratching your head. These three characters are a critical part of the story and act as guides to the heroes on their quest. Just as Gandalf nudged Bilbo Baggins out the door for his intrepid journey, Mrs. Who, Mrs. Whatsit, and Mrs. Which “push” Meg, Calvin, and Charles Wallace out into the universe. They give them wisdom, help them understand what they are up against, and even provide gifts to help them on their way.
I am so thrilled at the casting for these three ladies. When I heard who they picked for each role, it seemed so perfect I couldn’t envision anyone else playing these parts. Oprah, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling will no doubt bring more to their roles and characters than were orginally written by L’Engle.
#4: Chris Pine as Mr. Murry
As a hopeless romantic college student, I was insanely jealous of Anne Hathaway after seeing “Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement”. Her love interest was seriously one of the most handsome men I had seen (until I met my husband a few months later!). Since that time, I have been a huge fan of Chris Pine and his movies. Yes, he is definitely good looking. But even more than that, he is a very gifted actor. He will no doubt do his character, Mr. Murry, justice in the movie and perhaps add more depth to him that wasn’t in the book.
#5: Seeing the children come to life-Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin
Admittedly, I had a small crush on Calvin when I was first introduced to his character. After all, he enjoys Meg’s uniqueness and appreciates the differences. I am particularly curious to see Charles Wallace play out on the screen. His character is young but he has an old soul with the ability to understand and see people as they are. And every girl out there who has ever felt awkward and different will love Meg Murry.
#6: The Visuals Will Be Spectacular!
Just watching the trailer, I can tell they went all out on the visuals. I seriously hope the movie comes out in IMAX 3D because that is exactly how I want to see it! From the transformation of Mrs. Whatsit into one of her true forms to the planet Uriel, full of beautiful creatures, and the blind “beasts” who can see more than anyone with a pair of eyes. It will be amazing!
#7: New Worlds Come To Life
This story shows us new planets, even new dimensions, and it’s a journey from start to finish. When I read the book, some things were so amazing, I couldn’t do them justice in my mind (has that ever happened to you?). One of the planets briefly stopped on is actually only in two dimensions! The main planet they visit, called Camazotz, is actually very similar to Earth, but at its core, it is lost and much different. While Earth has its flaws and issues, and Camazotz seems to be in perfect order, the chaos of Earth is actually better because of the freedom we enjoy.
#8: Science Is Cool
Yep. It is cool and anyone who says otherwise doesn’t know what they are talking about! I loved astronomy and physics when I was younger. While I wasn’t good at all of it, I still clung to my dream of becoming an astronaut until I was a teenager. And even today, I haven’t completely let it go. I do remember being teased a little while being buried in my space books on the bus. But I loved it and now my kids love it too! Understanding the world is important and, as this story shows, knowing such things can be more beneficial than we realize.
#9: Knowing Literature Can Aid In Real Life Situations
“A Wrinkle In Time” has a quote from famous poets, writers, and philosophers as well as references to poetic forms and the Bible at least once in every chapter. Mrs. Who, one of the celestial guides, uses quotes to explain or offer guidance. I’ve always been a fan of the written word (my major in college was English) so a quote or two from Shakespeare and other famous writers was enjoyable. And not only is used as advice, understanding it proves to be a lifesaver. At one point, Calvin, one of the main characters, uses his understanding of a quote to help him overcome an obstacle.
#10: The Message Is Needed and On Point for Children and Families
Even as a fourth grader, I understood the messages embedded within the pages. Meg starts out hating herself, literally hating herself!, but her journey teaches her to embrace her uniqueness. In fact, one of her gifts is to use her faults. How often are we told that our faults will help us? All of the characters have quirks that they eventually learn are gifts that aid them in places they never though possible.
Another key message is that of our freedom to choose who we want to be. The ability to be a little off beat, do things in our own way, and become who we want to be. One of the evils fought in this story is on a planet far away… the antagonist desperately tries to convince species that doing everything the same way is the only path to true happiness. It’s a twisted view that shows just how important our individual rights to be different are in our society.
Finally, the ultimate message is love. Out of all the powers and beings in the universe, the three ladies mentioned above choose a backward teenage girl who hates herself to save her father from a being darker than any evil. Love is the pure light that shines in the darkness and ultimately the key to finding freedom in the darkness.
I cannot wait to see the movie and share my thoughts! March cannot come soon enough. Here is the trailer and short synopsis to get you even more excited.
From visionary director Ava DuVernay comes Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” an epic adventure based on Madeleine L’Engle’s timeless classic which takes audiences across dimensions of time and space, examining the nature of darkness versus light and, ultimately, the triumph of love. Through one girl’s transformative journey led by three celestial guides, we discover that strength comes from embracing one’s individuality and that the best way to triumph over fear is to travel by one’s own light. Meg Murry is a typical middle school student struggling with issues of self-worth who just wants to fit in. The daughter of two world-renowned physicists, she is intelligent and uniquely gifted, as is Meg’s younger brother, Charles Wallace, but she has yet to realize it for herself. Complicating matters is the mysterious disappearance of Mr. Murry, which has left Meg devastated and her mother broken-hearted. Charles Wallace introduces Meg and her fellow classmate Calvin to three celestial beings (Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who) who have journeyed to Earth to help search for their father, and together they embark on their formidable quest. Travelling via a wrinkling of time and space known as tessering, they are transported to worlds beyond their imagination where they must confront a powerful evil force. To make it back home to Earth, Meg must face the darkness within herself in order to harness the strength necessary to defeat the darkness rapidly enveloping the Universe.