Powerful and full of emotion, The Perks of Being a Wallflower tells a moving story of a shy freshman that will have many tearing up frequently. It has some wonderful acting performances with Logan Lerman, Ezra Miller and Emma Watson all starring.
Based on the novel written by Stephen Chbosky, It’s great that he’s the one actually directing the film as well, and from what I’ve heard, it understandably sticks to the book with the story. We see Charlie (Lerman) bracing himself for the start of the school year as a boy with no friends. His English teacher Mr Anderson (Paul Rudd), is quick to befriend him and is a character that is utilised well.
Miller and Watson play seniors at the school, who for one reason or another have there own problems to deal with as well. It’s certainly a film that focuses on the characters lives and the issues they are facing, both hidden and public. There are a few subplots throughout that show the true characteristics of the teen’s and the hardships they’ve had to endure. While the performances are all fantastic, the characters are relatable too, but only to an extent. I found the events and terms used (Freshmen, Seniors, The parties) to be a somewhat foreign idea, with American audiences sure to resonate more then Australian audiences.
That being said, it’s an emotional film and it’s hard to fight back your feelings at times. There are highs of happiness and relief, coupled with lows of pity and sadness, as well as a climatic twist that hits you just when you thought you were starting to cope. I thought this was done well as I was blind-sighted, however the signs are there throughout.
A quick note on the soundtrack which has received much praise, it didn’t do much for me. I had no issues with it but it’s certainly a soundtrack that is more memorable for older audiences than myself, or perhaps I just don’t listen enough to the genre used. Songs included Come on Eileen, The Smiths, Sonic Youth and David Bowie.
I found the film to have a slow point late in the piece with some minor frustrations at times, however I think it’s going to be very rare for people to dislike the movie. Powerful is not a word I use often and in this case it is more then justified, with some great acting performances bringing out real emotions. Most should love this film and I liked it. B