Wonder Movie Review

Dec 01, 2017, 12:36 IST | Johnson Thomas

It's a wonder that this film, based on the R.J. Palacio novel of the same name -which follows a year in the life of August Pullman, Auggie, suffering from a genetic abnormality.

Wonder Movie Review

Director: Stephen Chbosky

Cast: Julia Roberts, Jacob Tremblay, Owen Wilson, Izabela Vidovic, Noah Jupe, Bryce Gheisar, Elle McKinnon, Daveed Diggs, Mandy Patinkin

It's a wonder that this film, based on the R.J. Palacio novel of the same name - which follows a year in the life of August Pullman (Jacob Tremblay), Auggie, suffering from a genetic abnormality, doesn't overtly drip with sentiment and melodrama. That in fact is because of Director Stephen Chbosky's understated, immensely engaging and skilful rendition of a pathos ridden story-on display here.


Auggie (10), born with a genetic abnormality that has required him to undergo surgeries and medical treatments since his earliest days, rendering his face malformed, has to get integrated into the real world after having been home schooled in an entirely protected environment, by his mother (Julia Roberts) up to the fourth grade. In fifth grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time, his facial differences and their effect on the other students, make his integration into the mainstream, a frequently treacherous and uphill climb. But Auggie, a regular kid in every other way, is more than up to the task.

Auggie is as wonderful as the title suggests- he is a science whiz, has a sly humour that keeps him in good spirits and an overactive imagination which helps him navigate the troubled waters of his life. We in fact get to know from the points of view of the different characters here, why they react and behave the way they do. This allows for greater empathy and understanding of the overall situation and makes the experience incredibly meaningful and educative. Chbosky's treatment is transformative in that, it steers you clear of the extraneous and makes you live the deeper manifestations of a brave young life distorted by fate. The climax - where Auggie's year is celebrated in the school assembly, may seem a little contrived, yet forgivable, when seen in the context of what came before and the empathy it generates in the young and old experiencing it. The performances are so very 'real,' making this human drama a singularly heart-touching experience!

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