I want to share my experience and thoughts on watching my latest films. This will for sure contain loads of spoilers… and I would highly recommend watching them so unless you can handle them read at your own risk! This is not a review, merely a commentary of how I related to what I’ve seen.
Oh my goodness. Wonder. It was so beautiful. It’s about a boy called Auggie who was born with a face deformity. He has wonderful loving parents and an angel of a sister who also loves him dearly. The film delves into the lives of those who are involved with Auggie has he goes to school for the first time. There were no crazy over dramatized scenes of bullying, merely the usual of what you’d actually expect in high school. Initially Auggie hates school because no one wants to be his friend and he’s seen as a freak. However through unforeseen circumstances he slowly develops a friendship with Jack and later on Summer. Auggie first helped Jack get good scores in a science test. This made Jack see Auggie in a different light and so he decided to sit with Auggie for lunch. From then on a bond was made because past appearances, past the surface, sharing likes, dislikes, jokes and being themselves was what came through.
What was so heart tugging was how the friendships developed, how it struggled through the loss of trust, how it grew through forgiveness and bravery to stand up for each other. Such qualities are of course what we all want to strive for. In our hearts we know to be so desirable.
What is so amazing is Auggie’s sister Via (Olivia). Although it may seem so crazy how caring of a sister she is… I mean I don’t have any siblings of my own but I’ve certainly always wanted a younger sister to take care of her! So I actually feel like I could relate and respond as Via has. I have a couple of friends who are definitely not on the best terms with their siblings… so perhaps this kind of love for a sibling, especially one who has been placed first in the hearts of the parents must be very difficult to cope with. Yet Via not only accepts this but goes beyond and shares her burdens with her brother and sticks up for him like a best friend!
Later on in the film however, we do see her finally giving in and playing the victim card saying why after all this time, when she has a boyfriend and that she’s part of the drama society that her parents, especially her mother finally decide to show interest in her? I feel so strongly about this because I feel I totally relate to her. I would for sure act in that way, being stubborn and thinking that I should not allow my parents to go if they don’t even want to know about my own life. I suppose that kind of makes sense… but my point is, because of such sensitive things, everyone has their own fault. It is not that I think what Via did was right, only natural out of the pain, but her parents were also neglecting her too much. This leads on to another point of life – the balance is hard! Balance isn’t equality for every situation, because of the different factors and sensitivities that must be dealt with for each circumstance.
This is seen so clearly in two ways. One from Via herself and also her best friend Miranda. They began as great friends, however after the summer break it seems that Miranda has chosen to hang out with a different group of friends and ditch Via. Via of course was upset, but there wasn’t much she could do. She met a guy called Justin who then led on to her joining the same drama society he applied to. Eventually they started dating but Via told him that she was an only child. Later on we find out from Miranda’s side of the story was that she posed as Via during her summer camp and in doing so became popular. She wanted escape from her broken family situation and so did Via. Thankfully, they were reconciled as Miranda sacrificed taking center stage of the final drama play so that Via’s family could see her perform! So many misunderstandings arise… just because we don’t take the time to wait to hear the other person’s side of the story! People don’t act in the best of ways sometimes, but to say that no one is at fault is completely wrong because it’s not true! People need to admit their mistakes, understand each others side to things and reconcile.
Finally, how the film ends is that there is a best student reward for being the most honorable and kind student. When Auggie’s name gets called it is amazing to see how all the kids cheer knowing and believing he deserves it. But just before his name was called there were so many flashbacks of all the kind and noble deeds his friends had been doing sticking up for him! Auggie concludes his thoughts with that we all deserve to be in the spotlight moment at least once, because just like everyone else, he just made it through the fifth grade! It is fantastic and all… but my ultimate question is not everyone can be like this. Not everyone can show this immense kindness and love for so long because sometimes peoples personality clashes and relationships get broken down for good! When I watch this film, I think of how beautiful it could be yet so difficult a standard to attain. How much higher is God’s standard for us?
We want to do good, but there will be times that it is not possible. That because of jealousy or pride, it gets in the way. How are we supposed to know or more so what motivates us to choose? The one who makes the first brave move to be kind – Auggie helping Jack out with the test, then Jack making the move to talk to Auggie to see what he’s like… those are bold moves! Risk moves because what if Jack was just using Auggie to get the grades? What if Auggie was not a funny person as he was in the film?
Yet we can be certain that God loves us because He made the first move! How radical is that? That he knew that after the generations, not enough good was good enough to cover even just one bad deed that we have done, one bad thought that we had! And so he came into this world and lived the perfect human life and took our place in the judgement that should have been ours. This way, reconciliation can happen just like between Via and Miranda. Not just once, but for the rest of our lives!