I just watched the movie: A Wrinkle in Time after recently reading the book it was adapted from. This blog is about the differences between the two — because there were a couple. Don’t get me wrong! I sometimes enjoy when adaptations don’t follow the book completely — I mean, that’s what a literary adaptation is, to change from the original to another genre. I loved how The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials was different from it’s book and sometimes I’ve thought movies like Lord of the Rings followed it’s book too perfectly taking away any surprises from the book, but there are times I just wish the movie would follow the book.
Meg’s family is a lot smaller and a different race from the book. Instead of having three little brothers, Meg has one adopted brother, Charles Wallace, who is very relevant in the book. While the character is still very much the same, cute and smart, her other two brothers aren’t in the story. I haven’t read the books after the first, but I can already tell you that this would be a problem if the movie had any sequels since I’ve read they become more a part of the story.
In the book, Meg isn’t attractive, very skeptical, impulsive and stubborn. And while I liked Meg’s character in the book, her character in the movie was very different. She was pretty — even though the movie tried to make it out like she wasn’t — she was. She was more willing to accept things, and although she was nervous a lot, she was pretty tough. I’m not saying I didn’t like her character, (I actually liked it more, she reminded me of two friends of mine, one that looked like her and one that talked and made gestures like her) but she wasn’t very much like the fiery Meg from the book to me.
Okay, I think the actor that was picked for Calvin could’ve done a great job if he was only given more lines. He was an attractive, sweet, popular kid like the Calvin from the book but he lacked depth. In the book, Calvin is very charming, funny, supportive and plays a big part in figuring out how to defeat the IT. He’s also very diplomatic and this characteristic (which he didn’t have in the movie) was a big part of his character. I felt like the only thing the Calvin from the movie did the whole time was look at Meg dreamily every time she was unsure or accomplished something. The actor that was picked was perfect. His part in the movie? Unh unh.
Mrs. Whatsit was probably the most encouraging for Meg in the book but in the movie she complained and downgraded her constantly till the end. This was also a change that I didn’t mind because the way Meg responded to her and the snarky comments Mrs. Whatsit said to her could be funny. Her transformation was also different. In the book, Mrs. Whatsit was a strange Centaur creature, in the movie, she’s a strange… salad.
Charles Wallace’s character was pretty right on but the other characters in the movie were all different. First of all, the Happy Medium was a guy and not a tired happy-go-lucky woman. This change was welcome for me because I felt that there were a lot of strange women in the book as it was and adding a strange man instead was refreshing. I also thought Mrs. Whatsit’s crush on him was funny.
The Misses, as the children call them were all different from the book except for Mrs. Who who in the book just quoted wisdom and in the movie did the same. I did think however, that Mindy Kaling (from The Office) did a pretty good job with what little lines she had.
Mrs. Which was played by Oprah. I didn’t really like the idea of her playing as her at first but to be honest, she didn’t do a terrible job. She was kind of the leader of the three characters but she didn’t steal the spotlight or cheese out the movie. A major difference in her character compared to the book though, was that she wasn’t as grumpy and she didn’t have her annoying vibrating voice. A change I didn’t terribly mind.
Lastly, Meg’s father and the Man with Red Eyes. I can’t say much about these two because sadly, even though they were played by very good actors, they were barely in the movie! In the book, both were much more prevalent and I think wouldv’e been really great parts to the movie if only they had more time.
I loved the Christian messages in the book a lot. In fact, the whole story was built around a Christian theme, but of course, Hollywood can’t have that and none of the messages that talked about fighting for God and praising him were in the movie.
“all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.”
~Madeline L’Engle, A wrinkle in Time
This was my biggest complaint and also the complaint of many other I’ve talked to that loved the book.
The story in the book was wildly imaginative and therefore kind of strange but the movie was just all over the place. If I hadn’t read the book, I’d have no idea what was going on. The effects were beautiful and the places the protagonists journeyed to were not all together unlike the book but that didn’t make up for the constant skipping scenery. How the IT played with their minds and took control of people was hardly addressed and confusing. Regardless of all of this though, it was kind of fun to watch with my little siblings. My analysis, this was one of those movies that should’ve followed the book more.