Wonder from Stephen Chbosky is indeed a template film when you look at the story structure. You can predict easily how it will end from the very beginning itself. But the human elements in this movie that has such a rooted feel to its credit with rawness and coolness to pamper it, Wonder manages to move you emotionally through small laughs and cheerful philosophy.
August Pullman is our main protagonist. He is this small kid who is going to school for the first time after having done the schooling under his mom from home till that point. Auggie has this special physical condition and his face looks different from other kids. The family’s angst on how other students will accept Auggie and how this boy manages to succeed in that journey is what this sweet little film talking about.
Like I already said, it is not like you get any big surprise of fresh air in terms of story here. This story is in a way an exploration in to the loneliness of many people who are within that close circle of Auggie. His sister is battling avoidance, his two close friends, his sister’s friend and Auggie’s parents are all in a way victims of a kind of isolation that they can’t really talk about. It is these subplots and the layers they have added to them that makes Wonder more interesting. And to my happiness, they make it look tidy in terms of words these characters speak.
Young Jacob Tremblay whom most of you might remember for his character in Room, is here as the main character Auggie. Even though the face is under the layer of prosthetic makeup, the film uses the other aspects of acting beyond the facial expression greatly. From the body language to the pain in eyes, Tremblay adds life to the character of August Pullman. My favorite Julia Roberts is as always graceful as the caring and motivating mom and I loved the way she reacted when her son walks out of the school with his friend without asking for helmet. Owen Wilson is the cool dad here and looks convincing. Izabela Vidovic looks like a really promising talent for Hollywood in the future. When Julia Roberts acknowledges her performance in the end, it almost felt like an off screen appreciation. The other kids Noah Jupe, Danielle Rose Russell, Nadji Jeter and others were also good in their respective characters.
Stephen Chbosky cuts off the drama from its typical notions. It is because of that, this unsurprising film looks cheerful. The screenplay that tries to explore each character individually for a while shows us various shades of loneliness and the necessity of bonding. Because of that Wonder becomes a movie that is not revolving around a single character. Augusts’ satellites are also given fare amount of emotional depth and space. Frames complimented the tempo of the film and I liked the way they used sound tracks. The dialogues influences without being too preachy.
Wonder is that film which gives that positive vibe without being so message driven or an advising mess. It is predictable for sure. But the characters are so well written and performed that you will get that positive vibe at the end to have a smile on your face.
Wonder is predictable for sure. But the characters are so well written and performed that you will get that positive vibe at the end to have a smile on your face.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended