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The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The first time I watched this film back in 2012, I wasn’t the biggest fan of it. To be honest, I wasn’t over the moon with the book as other people were, so the whole ordeal was just an ‘okay’ for me. Fast forward to 2016, when I gave this film another shot, and developed a deeper appreciation for it. A lot of things have changed in those years, and when you’re someone whose diet has been of safety and security behind the walls of your education, there’s a need to dig a little deeper to the reality that’s going to claw its way into your views and principles once you’re out that gate. My worldview isn’t so jaded now, and I think that change in perspective is what garnered this film a new sense of appreciation for me.

The film chronicles the entire freshman year of Charlie, an awkward high school student who has been dealing with issues from his past, issues that don’t get fleshed upon until the latter part of the film. He eventually strikes up a friendship with Patrick and Sam, who lets him in their world, to have him experience things that he couldn’t dream of due to his nature. 

The film deals with a lot of issues, with all of those weighing down on how depressing this coming of age film is. Within the façade of the characters lies a heavy stream of baggage, and the storytelling reflects the way the characters handle their own stories. At the same time, Chbosky doesn’t leave out the light at the end of the tunnel; that dealing with their issues isn’t just a one-time thing, but something that the characters must choose to move forward from. I think the adaptation of the novel was very fleshed out because it was the novelist who penned and directed his own adaptation. It helps that he has the reins to pull how events would unfold that would optimally display how he wanted his work to be perceived, and in that sense, he succeeded. The book is easily beloved by many, and the film is evidence why. With that said, I do need to pick up the book again at some point. 

The cast was phenomenal. There were clear stand outs here, like Ezra Miller and Paul Rudd, the latter while having minimal scenes still manages to stand out. The supporting cast was great despite the limited screen time they had. Movies like this would usually cast unknowns into bit parts, but even those with minimal screen time are names of their own. Emma Watson was also lovely in the role of Sam. Logan Lerman, while not a scene-stealing performance does well as Charlie. I don’t think I could imagine another actor bringing to life this role as he did. 

I’m glad I decided to revisit the film again. The script did feel a little bit too perfect at times, but it doesn’t deter from the loveliness of the film. Chbosky does a tremendous job in adapting his work.



Cast: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller
Director: Stephen Chbosky
Year: 2012

Comments

  1. I'm glad you liked this more too. I loved it, despite Emma Watson being wooden as always. I actually just rewatched it myself a few weeks ago. Ezra Miller is just phenomenal. I can watch him in anything.

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    1. I actually didn't like Emma Watson the first time I watched this. I thought that she was the weakest link. Watching her performance here, it seemed like she was in her element unlike her other roles. Ezra Miller doesn't fail to amaze; this is one of my favorite roles of his. I'm glad he's doing bigger movies now.

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  2. Oh oh I totally adore this film!! <3 I actually cried when I read the book so I'm one of those rabid fans, hehe, and the movie really captured the book, I thought, ESPECIALLY SAM AND PATRICK. <3 They are the most precious of ever. And I did love Logan Lerman as Charlie. He's so sweet. And I'm really glad the author wrote the screenplay, because I think that helped it stay true to the story. :') So glad you liked it the second time!!

    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

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    1. I love Ezra Miller's portrayal of Patrick, practically stole his scenes!

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  3. LOVE this movie so much, and also loved the book a whole hell of a lot. I thought all the performances were top-notch, with Watson and Miller being the stand-outs (especially Watson, for me; and Melanie Lynskey is so great as the Aunt, too!), and Lerman anchoring the film effortlessly in the lead. I love Chbosky's adaptation, and the directorial flourishes are well-used. It's a very smart adaptation all around.

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    1. I might re-read the book sometime next year. After this viewing I felt that I needed to go back to the text. This is indeed a good adaptation.

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  4. Interesting review. I am meaning to see this film for ages now, but never get around to doing it. Emma Watson looks amazing here.

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