The 2017 movie Wonder. starring Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson, expresses a story of Auggie Pullman, a young boy with Treacher Collins Syndrome (TCS). TCS is a genetic disorder that is characterized by deformities of the ears, eyes, cheekbones, and chin. Because of the facial differences, he has always been homeschooled up until the fifth grade, which is when his parents decide to enroll him in a public school. While being a new kid at a new school, Auggie embarks on a journey trying to fit in, which is more challenging than he expected. He struggles in looking at the positive side of things, but with the help of his supportive family and a couple of good friends, he has made those around him discover their compassion and acceptance.
While Auggie is undergoing a journey, his sister Via is going through one herself. After always being put second after her little brother, Via hardly ever voiced any problems or concerns when it comes to her life. She recognized that her parents are always worried and too busy accommodating her little brother, so she did not want to add any more on their plate. However, the first day of high school rolls around and she learns that her former childhood best friend found a new group of girls to hang out with. Via had always thought that if she did not have her parents then she would at least have her best friend. Even so, it turned out that her best friend had rejected her regardless of the history they had together. While Auggie and Via embark on their own journeys, everybody around them is presented with obstacles that will start to bring them together.
While watching this movie, I found it to be intense and tender as the emotions were subtly portrayed. Each character is faced with a challenge, but their emotional strength in every scene is well revealed. Auggie must face the bullying head-on, while his mother struggles with
figuring out ways to help him or if she had done something wrong. Via struggles with wanting to have her own life outside of her brother’s but is torn in loving him dearly and wanting to protect him. It is clear that there are multiple sides to the story but with each perspective, viewers learn valuable lessons about kindness, friendship, and acceptance. This movie is brilliant in terms of showcasing daily human internal struggles, such as learning acceptance, fear of the unknown, ignorance, and bullying. This film demonstrates that most problems are created by citizens and the societal norms that we live in. The movie shows how we have made a harsh world for anyone who “we think” is so different and out of the ordinary in terms of appearances, views, and physical/mental disabilities.
While this movie has some amazing qualities, there were some flaws as well. I wished they had elaborated and focused a little more on Via’s side of the story. For Via, it does not appear much on the surface, but deep inside, when exploring more of her side of the story, she is battling as much as Auggie is, just in a different way. It only showed her struggle when she entered high school, but not as much concerning her childhood. By displaying the struggles of her character and her experience, the film can give the audience a better understanding of Via’s perspective.
Overall, I would still recommend this movie, rating it 10/10. It will make you laugh, cry, happy, and angry all in a short amount of time. It teaches those who cannot blend in that they were born to stand out. It can also suggest that trying to be ordinary is boring. It encourages those that are striving for something to strive to be extraordinary. I feel like anyone who watches this film can learn something valuable. Whether it is a child or an adult, Wonder teaches people that it is not too late to treat those around you with benevolence. Being more aware of your situation and how you treat others is one step towards achieving kindness.