To celebrate the premiere of the film this weekend, I decided to revisit an old classic with A Wrinkle in Time.
“Wild nights are my glory,” beamed Mrs. Whatsit.
So begins A Wrinkle in Time, with the storm that sweeps a rather unusual visitor into the Murry’s kitchen. Meg with her braces, missing father, and failing grades, is anything but a vision of perfection and she feels sure her little brother is doomed to the same fate, no matter how smart she knows he is. When a rather mysterious trio of women named Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which call upon Meg, her brother Charles Wallace, and a new friend named Calvin O’Keefe, the universe is turned upside down in an intriguing sci-fi adventure. As darkness threatens to take over the universe, warriors like the three Mrs. must fight to stop it – and this time they need outside help. Meg, Charles, and Calvin are sent to Camazotz where the mysterious It reigns supreme, convincing the inhabitants that like and equal are the same thing. With the darkness fighting against them on all sides, can Meg, Charles, and Calvin find their father and save Earth?
A classic read, A Wrinkle in Time, is one of those books that I’ve visited again and again. Madeleine L’Engle is a fantastic storyteller who knows how to conjure up weird and wonderful world to explore. Her depiction of the darkness, moral ideals, and ethereal beings such as Mrs. Whatsit are what make her books so memorable.
I hope that the new movie, with Ava DuVernay directing and Jennifer Lee of Frozen writing the script, does justice to the book. They have already made some casting choices that I take issue with, most prominent of all the choice to make Meg black. Hold on! Before you walk away seething with anger, please consider that Meg’s skin color is actually more important than it might seem at first glance. Her family history becomes a very important plot point in the later books such as A Wind in the Door and Many Waters. Her family’s origins (from Sweden/Norway) become crucial to an adventure that Charles Wallace embarks on later on. So while I can appreciate wanting to be diverse, this casting choice does in fact mess with the story.
Nevertheless, I am doing my best to be optimistic about the upcoming film. And, if worst comes to worst, “we’ll always have Paris.” Or in this case, the original, the best, the book that started it all, A Wrinkle in Time.
Chime Time: Have you read any other books by Madeleine L’Engle? If so, tell me what you thought in the comments section below!