A Wrinkle in Time offers a visual feast and a hero for young girls

Oprah Winfrey is Mrs. Which and Storm Reid is Meg Murry in Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time.
Oprah Winfrey is Mrs. Which and Storm Reid is Meg Murry in Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time.

 

IT IS about time pre-teen girls get a live-action, big-screen adventure film of their own.

Disney have been scoring big lately with animated films driven by strong, young female characters with Frozen, Inside Out and Moana, but now a flesh and blood character has a chance to shine.

Seven years ago, Meg (Storm Reid) and Charles Wallace’s (Deric McCabe) scientist father (Chris Pine), who specialised in astrophysics, went missing and has not been heard from since.

The community thinks he abandoned his family, but the children still have hope that he will return one day.

Out of the blue, the siblings are visited by celestial beings Mrs Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), Mrs Which (Oprah Winfrey) and Mrs Who (Mindy Kaling), who take them on a tesseract (space travel) journey to track down their dad.

While searching in another part of the universe, they must find their dad before the darkness, which is spreading rapidly, takes over everything.

Mixing magic and whimsy with science, A Wrinkle In Time shows that it wants to have fun but treat its young target audience like they have a brain.

There are some more mature themes dealt with like bullying and abandonment, while still having the ability to be entertaining.

Newcomer Reid stands head and shoulders above the rest of the cast, even stalwarts Witherspoon and Winfrey, who seem to take a while to get warmed up in their characters.

Zach Galifianakis scores the biggest laughs in a glorified cameo.

A Wrinkle In Time is a delectable visual feast, with colours and effects bursting off the screen, that tackles some big ideas, but does not always convey them in the smoothest way.

It runs for less than two hours, yet feels longer, with some slow stretches that may test the attention span of its pre-teen audience.

But in a world where youth adventure movies are dominated by stories driven by boys (The Goonies, Stranger Things, It), it is refreshing to see a young girl get her own.

A Wrinkle In Time (PG)

Directed by: Ava DuVernay

Starring: Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling

Three and a half stars

In cinemas March 29