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A Wrinkle in Time (2018)
Everybody calm down... It's not flawless, but it's okay.
When I first saw the trailer I was concerned. I re-read the book in January just to refresh my memory on how this SHOULD go... And it should be noted that the book also has it's flaws, like poor character development and an abrupt ending. I'm seeing lots of complaints that movie-Meg is annoying and one-dimensional, and let me tell you, book-Meg is too. However, there is a pivotal scene in the book in which she learns to stop being petulant and finds her purpose, and this scene DOES NOT EXIST in the movie. I would argue that this one scene that they cut out is crucial to the climax of the story, and this adaptation completely jumps over those events. Therefore the fault of character development is further worsened, but it's worth pointing out that one-dimensional characters in children's books are common, in order to allow the child to imagine themselves as the protagonist.
Anyone who's read the book knows that their mother has red hair, and Meg's is a mousy brown. People are so upset by this change. The idea that Meg hates her hair is TRUE TO THE BOOK, and personally, I don't think the texture of the actresses' (mom and Meg) hair are necessary to the storyline. The fact that we chose to make them WOC actually makes MORE sense than what's in the book, in my opinion, because our culture actually SHAMES textured hair whereas brown is just boring. In the same way, Charles Wallace isn't adopted in the book, however I feel it helps to explain his "oddness" more effectively because of it. We aren't recreating the world of the 60s, we're telling the story in present day so our children can relate to the characters and not roll their eyes at an out of touch story. These were excellent ways to do this. The book is written in a way where it does not make it relevant as to what era it takes place; that's part of its transcendence.
As far as the Misses go, they were obviously hyped in the trailer because they're freaking Oprah, Reese, and Mindy, but their roles are not supposed to be main characters. I'm seeing a lot of complaints that they don't serve enough purpose, but that's kind of the point. Albeit, the way they are utilized in the movie doesn't make as much sense as it does in the book with what they chose to leave out, but overall the three actresses play them the way they are written in the book. Whatsit is young and inexperienced in her role, Who speaks in quotes, and Which is your most wise, guiding figure who is so otherworldly she struggles to materialize. And as far as their races go, who cares? The book doesn't describe their skin. I'm more upset that Whatsit transforms into a Green Giant looking parachute instead of Pegasus-like creature described in the book, but that's mainly because I love horses. It doesn't affect the story.
All of this leads me to my final point which is, I don't understand why people think this is so preachy? The entire book is based around the concept of good and evil, love and hate. The "IT" is essentially the devil in the book, to the point where references to God are made (they're EXTREMELY random, but they are made). So what if Meg is insecure about natural waves instead of dishwater brown? So what if we made the Misses Indian, Black and White? The only scene that gets preachy is when Oprah's character Ms. Which describes what "IT" does to our world, and literally all she says is that evil is the influence causing all terrible things in our world. This isn't incorrect. And the whole point is for Meg to learn her potential as a young girl being the ONLY person who can do what they've set out to do. This movie is neither heavily political OR socially conscious, unless you deliberately choose to single out things which neither positively or negatively affect your characters (like race).
Let us please remember that the book was written in the 60s, and won the Newberry for it's radical-for-the-time science fiction plot. No, it wasn't radically socially conscious; most children's books then weren't. But this movie only feels like an agenda if you choose to view the casting in this way. If the whole movie was nothing but white people, it would feel like any other stereotypical "child discovers their potential and how to boost their self esteem" story. There's a new one of those out at least once a year. Please calm down.
This is either the best nor the worst adaptation of a book. It makes some weird choices that make it fall a little flatter than it would have had they followed the book more closely, but when is that ever not true of an adaptation? If you love the book, it's worth watching, but you'll be a little disappointed if you've recently read it. If you've never read the book, there are lots of things which will make you scratch your head and not understand the direction being taken, but keep in mind that most of it is the author's writing, not the directing or acting. This isn't the most exciting work of sci-fi ever written, but it is the foundation of many that came after it. Let's keep it in perspective, ay?