A Wrinkle in Time: Physics, Metaphysics, The Power of Love, The Power of Mind

Yesterday Suzanne and I went to see A Wrinkle in Time. What an interesting movie! It’s based on the “un-adaptable” 1962 novel by Madeleine L’Engle, which is still in print.

Meg Murray (Storm Reid) is a thirteen year old girl. Her parents (Chris Pine and Gugu Mbatha-Raw) are brilliant physicists who have been working on an astrophysical theory of tesseracts, which can wrinkle time and let one travel across the Universe. While exploring this theory, Meg’s father disappeared. It has been four years, and Meg is going through all the normal problems of adolescence. But she wants to find her father.

Meg’s younger brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe), who is always referred to by both names for some reason, has made contact with a powerful entity known as Mrs. Whatsit, engagingly played by Reese Witherspoon. Mrs. Whatsit confirms that tesseracts are real and that Mr. Murry has “tessered” to a faraway part of the Universe. She suggests that Meg and Charles Wallace can find their father.

They encounter two others, the quote-spouting Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) and the eldest of the group, Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey.) The three reveal themselves to be astral beings and they lead Meg, Charles Wallace, and Meg’s friend Calvin (who has a crush on Meg) to find Mr. Murry. Calvin has issues with his own father, so he looks forward to the adventure.

Along the way, they encounter such entities as the Happy Medium (Zach Galifianakis.) It is revealed that their father has been captured by the It, an “evil” entity that, as Mrs. Which explains, “represents all of the greed, anger, pride, selfishness, and low self-esteem in the world.” It lives on a planet named Camazotz, which is where Mr. Murry is being held.

Meg’s determination to find her dad lands them all on Camazotz, where the Mrs. depart, saying that the energy of the It is diminishing their light. Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin are left to find Mr. Murry. But some strange things happen to Charles Wallace along the way, which only dissipate due to the persistent love of Meg.

Do they return to Earth? Is all well that ends well? How will the adventure end? For that, you’ll have to see the movie.

What do we learn from A Wrinkle in Time? Well, for one thing, the power of love to overcome the appearance of evil. Love is the most powerful force in the Universe.

For another thing, we learn of the power of a determined mind. The travelers land on Camazotz due to Meg’s insistence on finding her father. And it is by the force of her determination that they move through all the obstacles and traps the It sets up for them. A Wrinkle in Time reminds us of the power of mind.

And we have to walk through the storms, through the obstacles, through the traps, if we’re to achieve what we set out to achieve. We must be willing to face the It in our lives and keep on going. We must do what we are here to do, regardless of what it takes. We do so through the power of Love.

All in all, quite a fable for our times. We really enjoyed the movie and I would recommend seeing it. It’s an enjoyable couple of hours and you’ll feel quite inspired when you leave the theater.

The Greatest Showman: Finding the Dignity in Everything

Readers of this space know of my love for musicals. The Greatest Showman is a musical story of the life of P.T. Barnum. It is a different work from the Broadway musical Barnum. I enjoyed both.

The film tracks Barnum from his unsuccessful ventures through the establishment of his circus. (It makes you wish he were here to revive his circus, which is now out of business.) he recruits all kinds of freak acts and makes stars of them. This meets with great objections from the “proper” members of the community.

Eventually, Barnum brings jenny Lind to America and becomes the toast of society, but he has to return to his circus. Ultimately, he leaves his circus for his family.

By today’s standards, one might argue that Barnum is exploiting these performers, but they sing a song of gratitude to him for treating them like humans instead of freaks. It’s quite moving.

Can we treat people like people with dignity, no matter how they show up in our lives?

I recommend this movie.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi — Force, Power, Choice

A while ago, Suzanne and I saw Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It’s an excellent movie. It continues the saga from where The Force Awakens left off.

You may recall that the prior film ended with Rey handing Luke his light saber. Now, she requests that he train her as a Jedi, but he refuses, saying it’s time for the Jedi to end. Eventually, Rey’s persistence wins the day.

While she is training, she is connected in mind to Kylo Ren. They begin talking. Rey goes to meet the Supreme Leader. Kylo Ren reports that “the Force is strong with that one.”

Eventually, Luke projects himself holographically and stops an attack on a rebel base (which has Leia and Rey, along with Poe Dameron, Fin, and others present.)

At one point in Rey’s training, Luke asks her what the Force is. She says it’s something the Jedi use. Luke corrects her and tells her that is everywhere, in and around all.

That may be the key point of The Last Jedi. The Force is in and around all, it can be used for good or evil, and we get to choose. Sounds very New Thougth to me.

We enjoyed this movie. If you can catch it, do. As Yoda would say, “Like it you will.”