We SAW #AWrinkleInTime
SYNOPSIS ACCORDING TO US
Daddy's girl (Storm Reid) is unsettled & disruptive since her father (Chris Pine) disappeared. But because this is a fantasy world, three women (Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey & Mindy Kaling) appear from the clouds and take her and her younger brother (Deric McCabe) on a journey to find lost father. Because it is a movie, there is a baddie (David Oyelowo) that tries to get in the way. Because it is Disney, kid gets superpowerish and defeats baddie. Reunites with daddy. Goes home to mummy (Gugu Mbatha Raw) and they live happily ever after.
So far, so box standard Disney for kids so all comparisons to Black Panther become laughable and unnecessary.
Bizarrely the press is all about diversity which I doubt is the key factor for the core audience (kids, families, fans of the book) when deciding what film or if to watch?
- The best bits are that it looks stunning and the production design team did an amazing job.
- The screenplay follows a traditional three act structure and it does not feel too long.
- If you have not read the book, then you could find this a watchable magic realism/fantasy film.
- It is an adaptation of a well known and loved book which in marketing terms should mean there is an inbuilt audience just waiting to see a story they have known and loved on the big screen. Sadly, it strays away from the core essence of the book. That could annoy its built in audience and rightly so. But this could also be an opportunity to bring in a brand new audience that may not be so connected to the source material.
- The #christian undertones of the book is traded for new age spirituality. I remain unconvinced, this will suddenly bring the hipsters in. But it possibly alienated the Christian crowd.
- The casting is all very blended but #cinema is a visual medium and visually it must resonate not distract. I spent most of my time wondering if the younger child was adopted. There had to be a scientific explanation for him being the biological son of #gugumbatharaw and #chrispine.
But the dominant narrative in the films marketing has been the race, gender and budget combination of the director. A fact that I remain unconvinced the core audience (children who love fantasy movies) use, to decide whether to watch a movie. A Wrinkle In Time could struggle to multiply its budget, simply because the word of mouth among core fans of the book will be negative. It does not mean it is a bad film, it simply strays too much from the book, enough to make you wonder why the director took on the adaptation if there was no connection with underlying themes. Ultimately the marketing message does not make it not clear enough, on what's in it for the audience as a piece of entertainment.
Whilst the industry patted itself on the back for a milestone in inclusion, it ultimately drowned out the entertainment potential to the core audience. And that could very well mean that this film goes down in history as something that could have been profitable had politics not got in the way.