Disney’s bonkers new offering is like a surrealist painting reinterpreted by a child; it makes even less sense than the original, but the sheer ambition should be commended.
If you can say nothing else about Ava DuVernay's adaptation of this American curriculum staple by Madeleine L'Engle, it most definitely taps into a childlike sense of that what-if wonder.
Its central storyline concerns Meg Murray (Storm Reid) the young daughter of two NASA scientists, played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Chris Pine, who travels to a mysterious planet in search of her missing father. She’s accompanied by her precocious six-year-old adoptive brother Charles Wallace, her friend/crush Calvin, and three cosmic entities known as Mrs Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), Mrs Who (Mindy Kaling) and Mrs Which (an Oprah Winfrey). Ah, and – because searching for her missing father isn’t enough of a story – Meg must battle an all-consuming evil entity known as ‘The IT’ as well.
The Selma director deserves respect for tackling such a peculiar story; it may lose its way, but I suppose it’s better to shoot for the stars and stumble, than play it boringly safe. (Jack Whiting) Indeed. Worth seeing for the big screen spectacle alone.