Hi there! In the Discord chat I spend most of my time in there has been an interesting experience where a good amount of the people present changed their user names to their real names. Been interesting. Some people get weirder out. Others felt that being completely themselves meant they were more boring. My only reaction to my own is that it’s weird seeing my own name when I post things. Plus it makes it even harder for me to keep track of who is who.
Warning: Spoilers both major and minor for both book and movie ahead.
On to the main event for today’s blogpost! I both read and watched A Wrinkle in Time. Well, technically I will have watched it. Just finished the book and decided I wanted to type up my thoughts before I saw the movie. It was a easy read. Didn’t take nearly as long as I thought it might. I find myself in the position of having to talk poorly about not just a much liked story, but one of my mother’s favorite stories. I will start with that it wasn’t bad. Just kind of simple. Brought to mind fairy tales. Simple morality stories where the good guys are good and the bad guys are bad, based on what the author says so. I didn’t get any feel of character agency. Things happen and people say and do things because the author says so and not for any other reason. Also, the main character spends 90% of the story either complaining or expecting someone else to fix everything.
It’s kind of weird since from a ideas perspective there is plenty to like, and as some of you know I like ideas more than just about anything else. Sapient stars, FTL teleportation by folding space, alien life that does not understand sight, absolute order as pure evil. Boiled down to a PowerPoint presentation I should like this. I suspect it’s because the story is never about the ideas. They all just kind of exist as background to watch the author move the action figures of her characters around and not much else. I can see how this would be a great story for young kids, especially girls, but as a adult guy closer to middle age than childhood it just kind of hit me like rain off a duck’s back.
It will still be interesting to see how the movie does. From the trailers they have changed a bit. Which is expected and I can only think that the changes will make it better. The story has a lot of visual elements that just didn’t jump out of the prose for me. Plus giving the main character a bit more agency and active voice in things is a good idea.
So, saw the movie. It was… not very good. Or at least it was a terrible adaptation. Part of me wishes I had not read the original story so I could judge the movie on it’s own merits. I still don’t think it would be good but it might not be as terrible. As an adaptation is was a trainwreck. I don’t even like the book all that much and I’m mad at what the movie did to it. Not going to bother going through all the various bits and pieces of it. I could probably spend a half-hour listing all the ways the movie was terrible compared to the book. From the direct quotes crowbar’d in at seemingly random points. To the fact that they cut out the one part of the book I thought was really good. I’m only going to say that they removed the oppressive authoritarian evil order and replaced it with a almost meaningless supernatural evil presence that was basically “oooh, scary bad thing~”. I can’t help but feel like that was intentional on some level. Don’t want the impressionable youth getting anti-authority ideas from their kid’s movies after all.