This review is a bit late already. I’m supposed to write my review for The Perks of Being a Wallflower after I watched the film early this month but for some reason I only got the time to do sit down on it today. I’ve been thinking of skipping writing my thoughts actually, but finally decided to still post since I believe that a movie like this deserves a spot on the blog.
For those who have read my review for the book in here, you all know that I really like the novel where this film is based. And knowing that the film is written and directed by the author, Stephen Chbosky makes me more excited for the adaptation. And as expected, Stephen Chbosky deliver a close adaptation of his book. Even some of the major scenes didn’t make to the final cut, the film still manage to deliver the same edge and depth of the book. It captures the darkness and optimism of the novel with some additional surprises.
The story focus on Charlie (Logan Lerman) as he explores high school life. From the start of the movie you will see him counting down the days until graduation. Being socially awkward with no friends at the start of his freshman year, he is a typical wallflower who is contented in watching life as it goes on. Until he met Sam (Emma Watson) and Patrick (Ezra Miller), who encourage him to participate in life and be part of a group. As he managed to join the circle of Sam and Patrick friends he also discover bits and pieces of himself. One step at a time he uncover his past and the mystery behind his awkward and unique personality.
But more than the twist and turns of the story, The Perks of the Wallflower is a character development piece at its core. Stephen Chbosky reveals Charlie’s depth and mystery one layer at a time. And even if the story only focus on Charlie, it still manage to show how the other characters undergo emotional and painful discoveries in their life. They are all on the edge of their emotions trying to understand life, find love, acceptance, and their place in this world.
I’ve seen Logan Lerman in a couple of his movies like The Percy Jackson and The Three Musketeers. And those movies doesn’t really approved in my taste, which makes Logan Lerman not so much an impressive actor for me. But after watching him as Charlie in this film, I can’t hep but see the depth of his acting ability. This movie makes me believe that Logan Lerman is an actor to watch out for. I think he did a great job delivering the intensity of Charlie’s character. As Charlie, his innocence is so believable and each emotions, awkwardness and shyness he shows are utterly convincing. From the subtle way he dance, to the dorky way he tries to act confident, and to the intense freak-out moments he shows. I didn’t expect to feel Charlie’s pains and confusions more than I feel when I’m reading the book. Lorgan Lerman really surprised me in this film.
Emma Watson as Sam is solid. I’ve been looking forward seeing her in a different role other than the brainy Hermoine of Harry Potter films and she didn’t fail to deliver a fresh character in my eyes even her character isn’t that huge.
Ezra Miller as the happy-go-lucky gay Patrick is simply plausible. He can easily steal the scenes with his vibrant personality. He brings energy and humor to the film without overshadowing the sadness and pain of his character. I didn’t imagined Patrick character to be that loud as he portray it but I think he excel in his job.
Visually, the film is a treat to the eye. It may not have the vibrant colorful of sci-fi films but it has a touch of classic in it. As if I am really watching a 90’s film. It offers a light and clean atmosphere that contrast the heavy dramatic and emotional scenes of the story. The background music and theme songs were also carefully chosen. Even there are some changes from the original songs used in the book, it still perfectly fit to each and every scenes and moments of the film.
“How can you be so happy and so sad all at once?”
That quote above is one of Charlie’s line from the film, which perfectly describes how I feel about the film as a whole. It leaves me happy and sad all at one. I may not always relate with Charlie or with the other characters in the movie but I can certainly appreciate the dramatic weight of their pain, struggles and confusions.
Whether you’ve read the book or not, this film is a must watch. It is a close adaptation of the novel that shows a sincere and emotional representation of teenager life. A film that is full of heavy scenes and dark themes but also has an incredible heart and great sense of humor. It leaves me with a heavy feeling, almost teary eyes and a smile of satisfaction after watching.