REVIEW: The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

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600full-the-perks-of-being-a-wallflower-posterLet’s face it, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower looked like a traditional American high school feature.  It has the approach of a teen film that has been repeated too many times. We have been told enough about the struggles of adolescence and have already had the laughs from experiencing them in awkward situations. In addition, the film marks Emma Watson’s first major role since the end of the Harry Potter series, which is clearly a move to boost box office ratings and did not really support the film from being anything new. Therefore, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower initially had a lot going against it. However, to a huge surprise it shifts every American Pie-like aspect aside and becomes a very serious and psychologically engaging feature that takes the behaviour of teenagers to another level.

Anybody can say that a film adaptation will be a disappointment compared to the original novel due to either lack of story, character development or how it is filmed. However, this is not the case with The Perks Of Being A Wallflower. For starters, Stephen Chbosky pens and directs the film based on his own novel. This indicates only he knows what he is looking for in the film, especially when it has a flexible plot. The story looks very simple but it contains circumstantial issues of death and posttraumatic stress as well as themes of friendship, passivity and surprisingly, homosexuality. Therefore, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower focuses more on emotional drama and less on gross-out humour.

In the leading role is Logan Lerman as protagonist Charlie, who is a struggling teenager after his best friend’s suicide. Following this and aware of Charlie’s sensitivity, he is a bullying victim and, therefore, has a low amount of friends. The character of Charlie and what he goes through literally sums up the meaning of the film’s title. He is emotionally and socially struggling but after meeting Patrick (Ezra Miller) and Sam (Emma Watson), he gradually perks up and blossoms like a flower. Nevertheless, Logan Lerman’s performance is fantastic as he embodied Charlie’s issues through emotions, movements and expressions. For these reasons, he deserves awards and needs to appear in more upcoming projects.

Other young stars in the film include Emma Watson who, like Daniel Radcliffe in The Woman In Black performs in her first major film since Harry Potter. In The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, she portrays young American teenager Sam. This role literally cracks Watson out of her shell as we see her as someone beyond being Hermione Granger where she is more romantic, sexy and at times, mature young lady. Therefore, Watson’s brilliant performance showed another side to her which proves that she has a future beyond Hogwarts. In addition, after his terrifying but wonderful breakthrough performance in We Need To Talk About Kevin Ezra Miller undergoes a huge transformation in the role of openly homosexual teen Patrick. He is easily the stand-out performer of the trio. Although we see a low amount of humour from Patrick, he is the central character who holds most of the friendships and connections together that we see in the film. This indicates that he, as well as Charlie and Sam, are still trying to maintain the ‘goals’ of adolescence but are exposed as young people with feelings where the audience can emotionally relate to them.

Although The Perks Of Being A Wallflower may appear as an American teen film, it goes completely past that and has resulted in one of the strongest films about adolescence and youth in a very long time. It is still a dark film because of personal issues provided but how it is executed through its themes; the film is also beautiful to watch. Thus, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower replaces the clichéd, gross-out gags with painful realities and progressively serves merely as a pat on the back to young people who suffer from bullying and emotional distress and expresses a message about the importance of friendships, family and love.

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~ by SJMJ91 on 19/12/2012.

One Response to “REVIEW: The Perks Of Being A Wallflower”

  1. I’m yet to see the movie, but your review makes me excited to do so after reading the book. Check out my post about my take on the book amongst other things, and share my blog if you like it x

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