Home Reviews Review: The Wonders (Le meraviglie)

Review: The Wonders (Le meraviglie)

Image from Oscilloscope’s THE WONDERS

Right from the outset, it’s obvious that The Wonders isn’t your typical film. Not only is it telling a story about a family of beekeepers essentially living in isolation, its primary focus is actually on something that’s very common in life even though it’s not always showcased on screen. I’m talking about the early process of entering your teenage years. As you’ll notice when watching this drama based in Italy, this is a part of growing up that everyone can relate to.

While every family member in this beekeeping family plays their part, The Wonders sees Gelsomina (Maria Alexandra Lungu) as it’s central character. She’s a teenage girl trying to find her place in the world as she begins to experience changes in both the emotional and psychological realms of life. This aspect of our existence is normal, but her situation becomes unique when a troubled teenage boy is taken in by the family and a captivating reality T.V. show catches her attention.

The two changes taking place around Gelsomina prove to be major ones that turn The Wonders into a true tale about developing as a youngster. As the film moves along, her mind starts to show just how imaginative it can potentially be as thing are beginning to shift in her head while these events spark a change and shows her that the world may offer plenty of interesting things that she’s yet to become familiar with. For anyone, this is a pivotal point of life that is accurately portrayed here in an odd way.

Over the course of The Wonders, Italian director Alice Rohrwacher presents Gelsomina and her three little sisters as kids who are discovering life, but more importantly, she is sure to depict them as kids. Usually, films make children out to be smaller versions of adults, but here they actually seem like children. Even if they’re living in a ran down home where they are tending to bees all day, this makes them far more relatable subjects that we can analyze and follow in a way that’s rare in the wide world of cinema.

I guess this picture speaks to who we are as humans. No matter where we’re from, we all have that desire to wander in the world of wonder when we’re children. It’s when we get older and the world starts coming into our lives that we change. Since this is set during a short period of time in the lives of these family members, we don’t get too far into the future, but you kind of get a feel of where it’s going as Gelsomina’s mind has been opened to the possibilities of her own potential existence.

This international feature is a film that allows the mind to effectively drift around what’s being offered up to us as we’re being introduced to the kind of environment that would normally be difficult to find interesting. While being technically simplistic, The Wonders proves to be as emotionally complex as the human psyche can be. With effort and the proper sensibilities, this shows that the souls of children will usually remain positive even when they’re not exactly in the most satisfying of circumstances growing up. That’s one of the key factors in giving this film the heart it needs to flourish.

Rating: NR

Director: Alice Rohrwacher

Maria Alexandra Lungu
André Hennicke
Alba Rohrwacher
Monica Bellucci
Sabine Timoteo
Sam Louwyck
Agnese Graziani
Eva Lea Pace Morrow
Maris Stella Morrow
Luis Huilca Logrono

Film Length: 110 minutes

Release Dates:
October 30, 2015 (Limited)
November 6, 2015 (Expanded)

Distributor: Oscilloscope


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