Wonder, based on the namesake bestseller R.J. Palacio 2012, brings the great success of the book to the cinema. Films dealing with sad subjects such as illnesses and other health problems often place these aspects in such central plans in the work that end up drawing the attention of the characters themselves and their lives. Wonder, directed by Stephen Chbosky, changes this picture and brings with it a different style.
The film tells the story of Auggie (Jacob Tremblay), a boy who was born with a facial deformity due to a rare gene that both his parents own. Believing it is time for his son to learn to face reality and other people, his father (Owen Wilson) convinces his mother (Julia Roberts) that Auggie needs to enter the gym. The biggest storyline conflict then becomes clear: Auggie needs to deal with the bullying of many school kids to try to make friends. At the same time, her parents and sister (Izabela Vidovic) try to put their personal lives in order.
Seeing the trailer, one can believe that it is once again a cliché that shows how the life of such a person is sad and how difficult it is for the family. However, the work is far from it and walks very intelligently without falling into the famous traps already beaten. The most important aspect is the way Auggie is portrayed: as an ordinary child, who has regular desires and fears. In addition, your physical appearance is offset by your mood and intelligence. Thus, all viewers immediately like the character and, instead of being sorry, identify with him. After all, as his best friend claims, we forget his deformity over time, and we focus primarily on his positive qualities.
The production still uses elements of the Nerd culture to give life to the plot. For example, Star Wars is cited several times as something liked by Auggie, which also gives great humor to the work (with the right to the participation of the characters of the saga of science fiction in the school). In addition, these references are used effectively. What is the worst thing for a child than having their own idols turned against it? When one of Auggie’s kidding kids uses the deformed Star Wars villain (Emperor Palpatine) to refer to the protagonist, we all feel his pain.
The film avoids putting Auggie always as the center of attention and also focuses on his sister Via, who feels very lonely since all the attention of his parents is with his brother. And the Wonder way of doing this is by creating chapters that show the life-point of different characters, like Auggie himself, his sister and even his friends.
Both the presence of popular culture and Nerd, as well as the possibility of seeing different points of view of different characters, give the film a very rare lightness for this type of work. The result is that instead of leading to depression, Wonder simply makes us all remember and return to the gymnasium season, with happy and sad memories, unforgettable friends and a future ahead.
(article translated from the original in portuguese with Google Translate)
See the campaign from the director Daniel Bydlowski: Mais Entretenimento, Menos Bullying.