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5 Dec

Haute Review: Wonder

Wonder

“Be kind, for everyone you know is facing a hard battle” —  one quote sums up the recently released Wonder, which is the latest tearjerker you simply cannot afford to miss out on.

Auggie – played brilliantly by Jacob Tremblay, the lead character of Wonder, stands on his bed wearing an astronaut’s helmet. “I know I’m not an ordinary 10-year-old kid,” he says. When the helmet is removed, we find out why he says what he does.

His young face is scarred, as 27 surgeries have made him feel like he’s not ‘normal’, and his motivation to go from home-schooling to a public school dwindles each day as the semester inches nearer. He isn’t one to give up however, thanks to the people he has around him.

The Pullmans – headed by parents Isobel (Julia Roberts) and Nate (Owen Wilson) – are an upper-middle-class family living in a fairy-tale New York, where the ‘perfect family’ consists of Auggie and his sister Via (Izabela Vidovic), but everyone knows there’s one thing that makes them extra perfect, and that’s Auggie.

 

Wonder

Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson play the cookie cutter versions of standard Hollywood characters.

 

Adapted impeccably by Stephen Chbosky, the film based on the novel of the same name is a testament to the feel-good films one gets to see each Holiday season. However, there’s one special thing in this film, and that’s the multi-character narration. The story, truly, is the winner in Wonder.

One of the best family portraits a film can paint, Wonder moves and amuses but never becomes overtly pandering. Much like his 2012 feature, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Chbosky uses his keen sense of storytelling and his interest in the introvert that makes him such a wonderful filmmaker to look up to.

Somewhere between the sentimental narration that one usually associates with standard Hollywood fare, combined with the intelligence and intimacy often associated with independent films, Wonder should really not be missed. However, be warned the film feels longer than it should be; but your emotions won’t let you think about it until you come home.

Shahjehan Saleem

The author is Deputy Editor at Something Haute as well as a professor in the Media Sciences department at SZABIST, Karachi. Socio-cultural theories and geography fill up the rest of his time.