'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' Review: A heartwarming ode to friendship
Regardless of how old you are, the 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' is a series that you can truly revisit at any time, whose subtle themes about identity, growing up and finding yourself stand out. The new Disney + animated movie is no different, as we see everyone's favourite middle schooler, Greg Heffley, navigate through life while trying to make sense of it all.
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The animated movie follows Greg (Brady Noon) as he enters middle school with his best friend Rowley (Ethan William Childress) by his side. Spooked by the various stories of how terrifying middle school is, Greg tries to navigate this new world while ensuring that Rowley stays okay as well.
But as much as he cares for Rowley, Greg believes that it is every man for himself. The movie wonderfully displays Greg's obsession with fitting in versus Rowley being unabashedly himself. The irony of the situation is, Rowley doesn't care about being mocked by other kids and manages to achieve some degree of fame, while all of Greg's attempts are in vain.
The final straw in their friendship is when Rowley steals Greg's idea for a comic, and while Rowley reasons that Greg said he was not going to use it, what seems to upset Greg more is the fame Rowley gets out of it. However, when Rowley befriends Chirag, who accepts him the way he is, Greg feels the pinch of not having his best friend around.
The two are squabbling over a game when they are ambushed by some teenagers. Greg watches as Rowley is bullied into eating 'The Cheese', a slice of cheese that gives kids the cursed 'cheese touch'. Greg knows that if other middle schoolers realise that Rowley is the one who ate the cheese, it would be social suicide.
This is when Greg takes the fall for his friend, because even though they don't fit in, he realises that Rowley is more important to him than the opinion of others. The movie has multiple such moments that remind you to be a better person. There is also the message that the only opinions that should matter are those that come from the people who care about you.
'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' premiered exclusively on Disney+ on December 3, 2021