The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) (Movie Review)
Directed By: Stephen Chbosky
I think it’s probably already rather obvious, but I don’t read a lot of books. That being said I did read The Perks of Being a Wallflower and I absolutely loved it. There was a certain feeling and vibe that the book in its unique presentation gives off that I was worried couldn’t be duplicated in film once I heard the book was being turned into a film. I felt a little better when I heard that the book’s writer would also be the director. So the movie was made and I finally got to see this strange and awesome tale of a strange boy coming of age in its live action form. And I am happy to report that I wasn’t disappointed with what I saw.
Based on the novel written by Stephen Chbosky, this is about 15-year-old Charlie (Logan Lerman), an endearing and naive outsider, coping with first love (Emma Watson), the suicide of his best friend, and his own mental illness while struggling to find a group of people with whom he belongs. The introvert freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors, Sam and Patrick, who welcome him to the real world.
I think a tale like this connects best to those who might feel a little different in the world. Even if you were popular in school or just fit in with any group label there is plenty going on in this film that you can probably relate to. While the story is in general about Charlie and is told in narration with letters he writes to an anonymous person throughout, I believe it is Emma Watson in the role of Sam that steals the show for me. Don’t get me wrong here, we have a great cast all around, but Emma Watson just stands out. I was never a fan of Harry Potter, but I knew the girl could act. This movie proves that. And of course credit needs to be given to Logan Lerman as well as he brings Charlie to life and makes the character exactly how he needed to be.
This movie deals with a lot of heavy issues. And the film walks a great line (as did the book) to keep things interesting and still plays its hand just right in order to make that heavy stuff hit you but not bring you down too much. The movie also gives us a feeling of hope within all the crazy things life throws at this group of interesting high school kids that we spend an hour and forty something minutes with. It also maintains some great music that includes such artist as The Smiths. These details were vital to the story in the book and that plus the Rocky Horror Picture Show stuff is all here as they were in the book. I love movies that stay pretty much down to a tee as things were presented in the original book source. And of course with the director being the book’s writer it would have been a disaster had that not been the case.
Of course the book does spend a great amount of time with Charlie and naturally with the movie things won’t be that long. Still, nothing gets really left out that is at all important but some issues like a relationship Charlie has does seem to be a little rushed here as it would and probably should naturally be. I still find that the heart and soul of the source is left intact with the film here. I also believe that in time people will grow to love the movie has they do the book. For me here I’ve found an instant love for the story and I know I won’t be alone in that. If you’ve been looking forward to seeing The Perks of Being a Wallflower on film you shouldn’t at all be disappointed.
What we have here a book to film adaptation done right. I feel things here are about a perfect as they could have been. It isn’t a perfect movie, but the book wasn’t a perfect book. However I do feel that both come close. If you get the chance to see this and you loved the book, you should make sure to see it. If you’re not familiar with the book you should still give this movie a chance. It’s a very different story and that is something we can all relate to and appreciate.
The Rating (9/10)