My Rating: 9/10
Stars: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller.
‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ (2012) is a coming-of-age comedy-drama adapted from the novel of the same name, and was directed by the author Stephen Chbosky.Its story is centred around that of Charlie (Lerman) who is starting his ‘freshman’ year at a new school and is finding it difficult to make friends. Through various events during the school day in his class, he eventually picks up the courage to speak to (‘Nothing’) Patrick (Miller) who then introduces him to his sister Sam (Watson). They strike up a friendship and eventually Charlie begins to develop feelings for Sam and feels bad when he goes out with her friend Mary Elizabeth (played by Mae Whitman). Everything comes to a head at a gathering when during a game of ‘Truth or Dare’ – Charlie kisses Sam when Patrick asks him to kiss the prettiest girl in the room, leaving Mary Elizabeth fuming. Another major part of the story involves the subject of sexuality, as Patrick (who is gay) and Brad (the popular boy in school, played by Johnny Simmons) become embroiled in a huge fight in the schools cafeteria when Brad started provoking Patrick calling him names, though hiding the fact that his father had caught them both in a sexual act – he had been concealing his true sexuality and was beaten up by his father. Charlie was sworn to secrecy by Patrick over what he had seen previously over an intimate encounter between the two at a house party. Having this knowledge and wanting to protect his friends, he knocked out all the friends of Brad who were attacking Patrick. Sam then receives her college acceptance letter from Pennsylvania State University and during a talk with Charlie she confesses her love for him and vice versa – then she leaves after graduation. This all leads to Charlie having a breakdown due to the underlying issue of not being able to deal with the tragic death of his aunt. He then blacks out and finds himself in a hospital to which he is urged to talk about why he blames himself for his aunts death. It is then said that his aunt actually sexually abused him but he repressed the memory because he loved her. After undergoing therapy, Charlie is reunited with Sam and Patrick when they come to visit him and he acknowledges that he is ‘alive’ and feels ‘infinite’.
With regards to the acting, I was very impressed. Logan Lerman’s performance was strong and I would have never expected this to come from him – same with Emma Watson. I had originally been sceptical when it came to Emma because this was her first major movie role outside of the Harry Potter franchise, so my mind was still in Hermione-mode. Her American was pretty convincing and it was nice to see her portray someone real and that you could relate to. Ezra Miller is perfectly cast as Patrick and definitely came up high as one of my favourite characters in the film, especially as he dealt with the subject of teens struggling with their sexuality.
Thumbs up for all!
The soundtrack is incredible and features the likes to Dexy’s Midnight Runners ‘Come On Eileen’ and David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’. The choices of songs really suited the moods during particular scenes.
This film made me feel emotional and certainly brings back memories from my secondary school years of feeling awkward, typical teenager things….
I can’t recommend this film enough to everybody….I applaud the cast.