True! The people who know us the most, their opinion counts. And Wonder 2017 is a film that shows this in a magical way! It lays out all its characters well and never moves away from the fact that it wants us to feel high and low simultaneously, that life is just a bittersweet journey where every moment is worth living!
Wonder 2017 is a simple story about a 10-year-old kid named August ‘Auggie’ Pullman, who was born with a rare medical facial condition (Treacher Collins syndrome) and is enrolling in private school after years of being homeschooled by his mother. The film is narrated from the perspectives of four characters- Auggie, his sister Olivia “Via” Pullman, Jack Will, who later becomes Auggie’s best friend at school and Miranda, Via’s best friend.
Director and co-writer, Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) consciously put us through a whirlwind of emotions, while fantastically chartering relations between different characters. The story is more than just a kid trying to fit in. It also shows family, friendship and a teenage in love.
August is considered an outcast in the school, while some kid taking a liking towards him, some being a bully while others confused due to his physical appearance. Auggie being habituated to such reactions avoids looking into others’ eyes while talking. Rather, he notices the little things about people, for instance shoes fascinate him and he says that many things can be noticed about a person by looking at his or her shoes!
Julia Roberts returns after Money Monster as Auggie’s mother, Isabel Pullman and pulls off the role of a seemingly worried mother of a gifted child as of Auggie. She shows courage as a mother because she understands it is important that Auggie face the world and at times doesn’t let hold of her insecurities as a mother. Owen Wilson in my opinion played his role the best as Nate Pullman, Auggie and Via’s father and Isabel’s husband. Every father wants to witness his son walk ahead with confidence and stride. Auggie while is understood to have faced difficulties in coalescing with students at school, Nate holds the family together and strong and sincerely looking up to his problems.
Via, Auggie’s sister and Isabel and Nate’s first child loves her brother more than anyone else, at the same time she feels a bit missed out because of her parents’ devoting majority of their time to Auggie. What makes her life difficult is when her best friend, Miranda begins to ignore her after the summer camp and she feels on her own. She signs for a drama club where she befriends Justin. As I mentioned earlier, Chbosky lays his characters well here. Via doesn’t tell Justin that she has a Wonderful brother until late because she is scared that her romantic relation might be affected due to it!
Auggie’s befriends Jack Will at school who loves to play with him and spend time together doing different activities. For some reason they both find life in each other! However, during Halloween, Auggie wears a Ghost Mask and says that these are the times when he walks around without the fear of having being judged. Jack, in a conversation with his classmates has a laugh at how a “freak” Auggie is. Auggie overhears this conversation and feels deceived by Jack’s friendship. Life goes back to being difficult for Auggie after that brief period of well-chosen moments and he keeps on his own.
In a forthcoming incident, Jack notices Auggie has distanced himself from him and as confused as a kid should be he asks Summer, a girl who Auggie befriended and confided in to the Halloween incident. Jack fights the bully kid, Julian Albians. Auggie and Jack re-unite as friends and stick to each other until the film’s end.
You may also like: Justice League  Movie Review
Stephen Chbosky doesn’t hide away from the fact that he has made an emotionally manipulative film and ends it on a happy note! Wonder reminds us of every kid who feels uncomfortable to be in the crowd and is probably more relatable to introverts than any other where they feel like “fish-out-of-pond” in almost all places.
You may also like: Alien Covenant Movie Review
While the film at first looks like a pure emotionally stylised drama with some big names added for Box Office collections, it is far from that! Yes, the film at parts will have you feel for Auggie and you might cry as well and when it ends it does nothing more than just to make you feel good. But isn’t it all about films? It is inspired from reality to churn into beautiful stories, being a place to be at from everyday rhythms!