film review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower-“We accept the love we think we deserve”

Elizabeth Golden

Photo courtesy of Google

“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” centers on the complicated aspects of life. Sex, drugs and violence make this average high school film into a heart-wrenching story of pain, emotions and struggle focused in the mind of a teenage boy.

Based on the best-selling book, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” tells the narrative of Charlie (Logan Lerman), who is just starting his first year of high school. He has counted down the days until it begins and is not looking forward to the pain and torment he has dreaded for years. His friends were not around and his sister wouldn’t talk to him, leaving him with no support other than his English teacher, who noticed his literary genius from the first day.

In fact, Charlie dreams of being an author but claims he has nothing to write about. That is, until he meets a couple of misfit seniors who quickly merge him into their eccentric group.

Patrick (Ezra Miller) is an outgoing,  gay class clown with an inner string of depression, left unnoticed by many. Charlie is introduced to Sam (Emma Watson), who quickly becomes the love of his life, but she is otherwise occupied.

Writer-director Stephen Chbosky adapted this film from his own novel, showcasing heart from start to finish. This is clearly a work of love for Chbosky as he carefully intertwines each frame to create a meaningful film based on the momentous book.

Not a single aspect of this film is worthy of criticism. Chbosky does an excellent job of allowing the audience entrance into the inner mind of Charlie, complete with flashbacks and intriguing camera effects. This ingenious directing style is rare for such a newcomer, but Chbosky pulls off every journey, every smile and every tear.

All of the actors perform flawlessly. Lerman brilliantly showcases the struggle within Charlie as he acts awkwardly, which the part requires. It’s easy to get wrapped into his mind and experience every bit of drama at his side.

Relatively new to the acting scene, Miller also wonderfully portrays the hardships of high school as he experiences the struggle of being misunderstood due to his sexuality. Even his football-playing, closeted boyfriend torments him in front of the entire school and the pain is clearly seen in Miller’s beautiful performance.

Watson is no stranger to the limelight, but it’s strange to see her in a performance like this. She rocketed to stardom in the “Harry Potter” series and she will always be known as Hermione, no matter how she attempts to escape the title. She abandons her British accent to play Sam, full of her own share of pain and drama. It’s unusual to hear her sound “American,” since audiences typically don’t picture the English-to-American transition. Despite the initial moments of strangeness, Watson also portrays her character flawlessly.

“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is a heart-felt portrayal of contemporary high school society, mixed in with a little bit of “The Breakfast Club” as Charlie’s childhood drama unravelss in a cinematic way.

Little is actually known about the lead character from the film’s beginning, but as the story unfolds, the motivations between his introverted personality and depressive mindset are revealed.

This is a phenomenal film, fit for a wide array of audience members. Every viewer walks away personally touched, as the film depicts a side of life that is shunned from modern-day media.

The film’s key theme is “it gets better,” which is a message relatable to anyone experiencing life’s hardships. “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” does not shy away from the pain so many others try to hide. Instead, this film embraces every painful moment and every romantic situation, all warped into a story of growing up and the struggles of daily adolescent life.

[email protected]