Review: “Wonder”


Caleb Nogast

Jimonte' Weber, Staff Writer

The movie “Wonder,” based on the book by Raquel J. Palacio, follows the story of August “Auggie” Pullman and how he navigates getting through fifth grade while having a facial deformity disease called Treacher Collins Syndrome. The audience not only get to see his experiences but those of his family and friends as well as how Auggie brings them all together through his character, not his disease. Being able to entertain both older and younger audiences, “Wonder” does an excellent job of blending dark, solemn scenes with happy successes, and it gets viewers emotionally invested. This is a must-see movie.

One of the first things that stood out while watching this movie was how it broke the scenes up into chapters using characters’ names, just like in the book. The movie does a great job of connecting every plot point and having the characters’ thoughts and conflicts shown concisely to the audience while switching between characters’ viewpoints.

One con of the movie was the use of the main antagonist, Julian. He was the worst of the bullies, always attempting to belittle Auggie to make himself feel better, and he was a good character up until when he exits the movie. Despite all the things he does, he gets no real punishment, and even though he claims to have learned his lesson, viewers never get to see his actions around Auggie and others to determine if he really had changed. He could have been used in a more powerful way than just as a tormentor of Auggie. Having Julian come back after learning the error of his ways and maybe even becoming Auggie’s friend instead of just being cut from the movie altogether, it would have made the movie a lot more impactful and powerful.

Another great thing “Wonder” did was make Palacio’s world feel real. Despite this being a PG movie, a lot of real-life, mature themes were explored and handled well. Bullying, suicide and alcoholism were among other things touched on in this movie. Some were handled more delicately than others, but it serves the greater purpose of the movie. Watching the way the kids react to Auggie felt real. The things they said and the looks they gave felt like real life, and unfortunately, that results in cruel things done and said to Auggie. But the movie, however, does more than just explore his pain. Characters such as Auggie’s sister, Via, get their emotions and problems shown as well, tying everything in and creating a wonderful tale much like the book did.

Overall, this is a feel-good movie for all generations that captures what people with this type of disease most likely go through every day. The laughter, the tears and the fights all feel real, and “Wonder” does a great job with immersing viewers into Palacio’s world, doing the book a great justice.