‘Perks of being a wallflower’ review

Perks of being a wallflower review

Photo from imdb.com

Priyanka Hardikar, Staff Writer

Novelist and director Stephen Chbosky captures the hearts of the audience with his new film “Perks of Being a Wallflower,” based on his highly emotive novel of the same name. The movie is told in first person from the perspective of Charlie, a freshman in high school. He writes letters to himself describing the events of his life. As the story evolves, the tone of his letters correlates with his loneliness. Charlie, portrayed by Logan Lerman, is a dynamic and well-defined character. He has a tendency to stay aloof – like a wallflower; he has a gift of perception. He is extremely attentive to everything and really understands people. In a sense, he connects to people without them knowing it. Lerman is perfect for the role; his ability to be so expressive allows the audience to feel what he is feeling as Charlie. He displays his vulnerability even with just the way he walks – with a slow, uncomfortable pace, distancing himself from outsiders. He tries to avoid direct eye contact with his peers. If by chance he does make eye contact, his insecurity and feeling of rejection is quickly revealed.

Ever since Charlie can remember, he has struggled with a traumatic inner conflict. He unexpectedly gets blackouts, where he escapes reality for some time. When he comes back to consciousness, he can’t seem to recall what has happened earlier that day, even if it is something major. The film conveys the blackouts successfully, with the sudden surfacing of tension. The audience assumes his blackouts are caused by the abrupt suicide by his best friend in middle school.

The story begins when Charlie befriends Sam and Patrick, played by Emma Watson and Ezra Miller. The audience gets to observe this friendship from day one and also observe how Charlie develops as a person emotionally. The story moves at a steady pace, mainly focusing on how Charlie’s friends’ lives are and how he is affected by them.

The movie, for the most part, abides by the novel. In comparison to the novel, the movie added a scene where Charlie helps Sam study for the SAT. It was relevant because it helped develop their friendship and his feelings for Sam. The novel included details about Charlie’s sister’s new boyfriend; however, this was not detrimental to the movie because it didn’t develop Charlie’s conflict.

The movie was balanced with the variety of emotions it invoked. It was filled with humor, suspense, surprise and romance. It was a heartfelt movie, emotionally moving and life-impacting in the sense that it has a message intended for teenagers who don’t feel socially accepted or who face adversity. Charlie struggled with both challenges, but he proved that it is possible to escape adversity and social horrors. It is definitely a movie that will touch the heart.