I found the movie Wonderstruck to be lacking in wonder


In the hour and 55 minutes of the movie Wonderstruck, two things happened to me. First, it gave me a unique look into what it was like to be deaf in the dark ages (a time when being deaf was frowned upon), inciting a need for deeper thinking in that regard. But secondly, to put it rather bluntly, the movie bored me.

The movie alternates between the stories of two young children: Rose, from 1927, and Ben, from 1977, both of whom are deaf. Rose is deaf from birth and Ben becomes deaf in an accident at the beginning of the movie.

As a student who has been taking American Sign Language since freshman year, I am thoroughly intrigued by the deaf aspect of the movie. My previous knowledge of the time when Rose lives — the Dark Ages — gives me context that makes parts of the movie come alive in a way it otherwise wouldn’t, given I had no previous knowledge. I enjoyed piecing together the reasoning behind certain parts of the movie, and I was more intrigued due to the fact that I enjoying learning about deaf culture. Admittedly, I enjoyed the fact that I could follow most of the signing in the movie.

However, most of the parts that didn’t pertain to sign language or deaf culture bored me. It wasn’t that the plot, acting, or the movie were bad; but the movie was drawn out in a way that had you yawning quite often. Scenes, like the one where Ben chases Jamie throughout the Natural History Museum, that should have lasted no longer than a minute seemed to drag on with no end in sight.

Had they done a little more work in the cutting room and trimmed the movie down, I think it would have been far more enjoyable to watch; however, if someone that had no interest in deaf culture and sign language were to watch this movie, they would have nothing really keeping them to watch until the end. Even with my fascination with how sign was incorporated into the movie, I found myself counting down the minutes until the movie came to a close.

Overall, I can’t say I would recommend this movie to anyone. If you have a particular interest in the deaf world, you may enjoy parts of the movie. However, if you know nothing about deafness, I find it unlikely you would make it even halfway through this movie.