Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower (2012)

Year: 2012
Director: Stephen Chbosky
Cast: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Paul Rudd
Before I begin my review….
 I’ve got to say that I have been extremely impressed with Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson post Harry Potter.

Back in June, I reviewed The Woman In Black, which was Daniel Radcliffe’s first role post- Harry Potter.  It was always a worry of mine how the Harry Potter “kids” would go once the films came to an end, so I was pleasantly surprised with Daniel Radcliffe in The Woman In Black. Not once during the film did Radcliffe do something that was Harry Potter-esque. I didn’t once in my mind link Radcliffe’s performance back to Harry Potter and that is a sign to me that he will really do well away from Harry Potter as he has more in him that just the boy wizard.
 The same can now be said for once Hermione Granger, Emma Watson. I didn’t think her performance in My Week With Marilyn was a clear indication of whether she is going to have a successful career outside Harry Potter. The Perks Of Being A Wallflower does wonders for her in that department. Hermione is gone and Emma Watson has arrived, and she is a very versatile, gorgeous and talented actress. I’m actually very excited now after seeing her in this film to see her in Sofia Coppola’s upcoming film, The Bling Ring.
 It is great knowing that both Radcliffe and Watson are not going to fall into the trap of being typecast because of their previous roles which they will be forever known for, and that there is life after Harry Potter.
 I guess now it is Rupert Grint’s turn to show us that he is now longer Ron Weasley.

  The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is one of those rare films that is heart-breaking and also heart-warming.
 Based on the best-selling book by Stephen Chbosky who also directs the film, it is obvious why the novel is such a success. The characters are ones which so many teenagers can relate to and addresses those deep, dark secrets some of us have that shape who we are. On the big screen, the characters and situations are relatable and it is the must see film of the year for anyone who has ever felt like a misfit or a wallflower.

Charlie (Logan Lerman) is a troubled young man who is just about to enter high school, which he knows is going to be torture for an outcast like himself. He is terrified at the prospect of having no friends and starts counting down the days till he finishes as soon as he starts. He soon befriends step brother and sister, seniors Patrick (Ezra Miller) and Sam (Emma Watson) who take Charlie under their wing and introduce him to their band of misfits. Charlie comes to be one of them and for the first time feels like he belongs, but do your inner demons really disappear if you don’t acknowledge them?
It is a huge advantage for The Perks Of Being A Wallflower that the author of the book is also the director and writer of the film.  Stephen Chbosky has brought to the big screen the true essence of what the book is about. The story doesn’t lose anything when it is told through images and dialogue rather than just words on the paper. There is so much emotion involved in the film and it can really be beautifully depressing at times. A film set in a high school is normally a film that can get caught up in comedy and light fluffiness, but The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is not one of those films.  
The script is really very good. There are some really beautiful quotes in the film such as “We accept the love we think we deserve” and when Charlie says that he didn’t think anybody knew he existed, Patrick replies “That’s because we didn’t think there was anybody cool left to meet”.
However, it really is a very sad film. Some moments are really heart felt and you love watching the friendships move from one stage to the next and how these high school students become like family. However, it does remind you that if you don’t deal with your past and the demons there, they never disappear.
Logan Lerman is just perfection as Charlie. From the word go, you establish a connection with him and feel so sorry for him that it is agonizing. His character is a true wallflower, but on screen he is just magic.
Emma Watson has so much star quality in this film that it is unbelievable. She is just radiant in a role that is so different for her and proves that she really can do anything. Watson has those great moments in scenes where you are actually able to see into her soul and see her pain, even though the character is trying to hide it.
Ezra Miller is also very good and perfect in his role, as an outcast but an extrovert.
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is a film that every teenager going through the turmoil of high school should watch. It can be very hard hitting at times, but is the perfect way to remind them that they are not alone in the way they feel.

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