*This review contains spoilers
A Wrinkle In Time, a novel written by Madeleine L'Engle, written in the 1960's, was adapted for the screen by Disney and released on March 9th to mixed reviews. For some, the story was reminiscent of the well-loved book, for others the film was underwhelming with a whirlwind plot.
But, before judging for yourself if you should go see this film, let's dive a little deeper into the message of the story and the value that it can bring if you let it.
The film follows Meg Murry, a science savvy student who has lost touch with the world around her after her father, a gifted scientist, disappears when his science experiment goes awry.
With the encouragement of her younger brother Charles Wallace, and the help of the celestial creatures Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which, Meg, Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin set out on a rescue mission to save Mr. Murry.
As the journey unfolds, we slowly learn of the IT, a dark force that has been engulfing whole planets in its destruction and evil and will soon take over earth if nothing is done to stop it. And, it just so happens that Camazotz, the planet Mr. Murry is trapped on, has already been taken over by this evil force.
Now, the IT is not a being or a person, rather it is a darkness that overtakes an individual through insecurity, pride, selfishness, and most of all, fear. When explaining the IT, Mrs. Which states:
You see this is what the ‘it’ does. One person at a time, until fear takes over. Fear turns to rage. Rage leads to violence. And then there’s a tipping point. If we do not act soon, darkness will fall across the universe.
As we get close to the climax of the film, it is revealed that Charles Wallace has given in to the power of the IT and is now trying to prevent Meg and their father from going home. In this process, Charles Wallace refuses to be helped and testifies to the magnificence of the IT stating "I can see the weakness of any soul" revealing that part of the IT's power is in seeing the worst in others, seeing their faults and failures, instead of seeing their potential and value.
In a powerful scene at the end of the film, Charles Wallace brings Meg into the inner brain of the IT, a large space with electric currents and temptations strong enough to make you give in to the dark power and its fear. Yet, Meg does not give in, nor does she give up on saving Charles Wallace, as only she can. She refuses to see him as anything other than who he truly is; someone who has loved her when she felt like no one else did and saw her for who she truly was, even when she couldn't see those things in herself.
A dialogue duel ensues between Meg and Charles Wallace. Charles Wallace attempting to tear Meg down, telling her she is worthless, that she needs to look better and prettier, and that her father does not love her. He speaks of the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of her soul. But then there is Meg, who is finally ready to speak life and value over herself as she declares that she is worth loving despite her weakness and her faults.
And herein lies the message of this film. We deserve love, and we need to realize this for ourselves, and when we do it is powerful. When we understand our value and our worth, we become less afraid and more courageous. We are less afraid of what people think of us, we are less absorbed with trying to be liked, and we are more apt to stand up for ourselves if we are not being treated well.
Through Meg's journey in this film, we see her surviving off of her father's love for her, and when he leaves she cannot see herself as valuable. She stops making an effort at school because it doesn't matter anymore, she starts believing in the ill will of others rather than the good will of others. She stops caring about who she is. It is not until the dialogue duel with Charles Wallace that Meg finally realizes that the power of feeling loved lies within us just as much as it lies within others.
Mrs. Which: [to Meg] Do you realize how many events, choices, that had to occur since the birth of the universe leading up to the making of you? Just exactly the way you are.
We all have our faults and tendencies that make us imperfect. We have made choices that have brought us where we are and we have had things happen to us that are not our own doing. We have been emotionally and physically scarred and sometimes we are in a place we do not want to be. But in the end, life isn't about being perfect. Life is about facing our darkness and coming out on the other side an overcomer.