Wrinkle in Time

My daughter and I just got through reading Madeline L'Engle's Wrinkle in Time. Then she noticed that Disney had made a movie:

and so we had to watch that. Despite the heinous cover art, The movie wasn't too bad. Interestingly, its deviations were for the most part more philosophical than mechanical. Usually we get deviations because the filmmakers want to speed up the plot, add something shiny, make something more exciting for the eye and less of a workout for the brain. Though there were a couple of those sorts of changes, the major changes were alterations in the morality of the story. "Wrinkle in Time" had a theological point, and this point is completely washed out of the film. Also, Meg's strength and weakness in the novel came from the fact that she was "neither one thing nor the other", but in the movie, Meg assures us that she has learned that we are all just as special as Charles Wallace.

I was quite bemused by the filmmakers' assertion that they had "updated" Meg. They made her overtly brainy and nerdy and less directly confrontational. She's the girl who openly demonstrates that she knows more than her teacher instead of the girl who's failing her classes and who is regularly disrespectful to authority figures. Then, instead of thrashing the boys who were making fun of her brother by herself, she gets rescued from them by Calvin. Although she has her moment of self-doubt, she never experiences the spiritual devastation and healing that the Meg of the novel traverses,either. How this makes her much more like a modern young woman than the sarcastic, brilliant but blocked and doubting herself, misunderstood, fierce and fiercely loving Meg of the book is beyond my understanding, as is the unicorn and castle slipcover. (There are no unicorns or castles in the book or the movie, making the cover art incredibly WTF?)

I think they cleaned it up and vacuumed the religion out to make it safe to use in public school and show as an after-school special. 😦 It's definitely a less challenging story as a movie than it was as a novel. But I find that this is the usual result of novel to movie.

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