Be a warrior
Meg's (Storm Reid) father (Chris Pine) disappeared without a trace four years ago. Since then, she's no longer the top student she once was. She's angry, and nothing makes sense. Strange things start happening when her younger brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) introduces her and her friend Calvin (Levi Miller) to three women they've never seen before. Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) and Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey) Their father is alive and they must cross through time and space to reach him.
I never read the beloved book, but I still wanted to see this. I love director Ava DuVernay and I wanted to see how she handles a potential block buster like this. It's also nice sometimes to not have the written word to compare it too. Unfortunately, even going in without knowing the story didn't stop the glaring issues.
First thing, I love the story. I really do, it's inspiring to see a young girl be in touch with herself, acknowledge her faults, and use all of that to save others. I found that aspect very moving. What doesn't help this already strong story is the dialogue. It's full of platitudes and the side characters like the bully, the principle, the teachers, they're all caricatures. Maybe this is the fault of the book, but I found myself rolling my eyes often whenever one of them had lines. But that's not even the worst part.
It's the actors. I'm not sure what happened here. Ava's directed excellent performances out of so so material before in Selma, but I felt like no direction was given to the child actors in this film. Storm Reid is good for the most part. I can't wait to see her in something again because I think she'll have a long career. But at the beginning, she's only given "stoic" just as Miller feels like he's only been given "obsessed." Calvin spends the entire film looking madly in love with Meg, which is fine but I've seen this kid emote before, he should've been given more. On the flip side, McCabe should've been toned down. He is completely over the top and cringeworthy to watch. I've also never been this annoyed with hearing a character's name since "Jeliza-Rose" in Tideland. My God. I never want to hear the name "Charles Wallace" again.
I don't know how I would've felt about this film having read the novel first. But right now, I'm disappointed because I wanted so desperately to love this. I liked the cast, and Disney usually has a good hand on these things. When I asked my son if he liked this film as we left the theater, he responded with "It's fine, but I don't want to watch it again." This is after begging to see it. I guess we were both underwhelmed.
Memorable Quote: "That's right, your beautiful faults." - Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon)