Wednesday, March 14, 2018

“She looks like me…even the glasses” A Wrinkle in Time Review


Image result for a wrinkle in time
A Wrinkle in Time is visually STUNNING, emotional, and exquisitely crafted.

Period.

      I’ll be honest. I didn’t really want to see it. I had seen several bad reviews about the film and I was dreading watching a childhood favorite butchered. But those reviews were wrong. I absolutely loved this movie.

     Almost from the opening credits, A Wrinkle in Time had already brought me to tears. I was transported to my ten-year-old self staying up way too late at night reading that beloved book and starting my love affair with science fiction. I never saw myself in the books I liked to read. My eclectic choices in reading material from British literature to Sci-Fi all but guaranteed that I would never read about people who looked like me. My favorite novels always featured fragile white girls who needed to be saved or strong white girls who did the saving. And that was okay. I absolutely loved those stories. The Secret Garden, A Little Princess, Tess of the D’ubervilles were some of my stories that shaped me into the woman I am today. They were also stories that a little black girl in a poor neighborhood weren’t supposed to read. They were also the reason why a little black girl from a poor neighborhood began writing stories. I wanted those same stories that touched me to feature characters that looked like me.

     What brought me to tears in A Wrinkle in Time might have had more to do with the message Ava DuVernay recorded that aired before the start of the film. Immediately, I thought of an interview she had on The View. In it a co-host asked her about changing the race of the main character, Meg. “In the book, Meg is white. But you made her biracial,” the host says. Next, Ava said something that completely changed my perspective. “Is she? Because when I read it, she looked like me.” For some reason, those words just touched me. For every book I have ever read, the characters have always been white unless it was explicitly stated otherwise. But why? I think it was because I was subconsciously programmed to think that only white characters had stories interesting enough to tell. That is changing.

     Seconds after Storm Reid as Meg Murray appeared on the screen, my 12-year-old biracial daughter leaned over to me and said, “She looks like me. Even the glasses.” I almost lost it. I had to get up and get popcorn so as not to cry in front of my children. Maybe, just maybe, if I had seen little girls that looked like me leading big budget, amazing films, I would have had the awareness and self-confidence necessary to read a book like A Wrinkle in Time and see the main character as a girl who looked like me.

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