Sunday, 2 June 2013

The Perks of Being a Wallflower Review

People don't like to admit it, but film making is an art. It's a way of telling a story, sometimes beautifully, sometimes not so. Much like art, people connect to films in a way which reminds them of other important people in their life, happy memories and sad memories. The Perks of Being a Wallflower does all of these and more. 

Music is also an art and does the same thing. The music has a big part to play in this. It's a wonderfully chosen assortment of offbeat music that resonates with me and a lot of teenagers my age. From David Bowie, to Dexy's Midnight Runners, to The Samples - it's just out standing. I found that it brought out the characters. It gave us a little bit more information, as did the references and the mise-en-scene in the characters rooms. The Smiths posters in Sam's room showed us her personality - The Smiths have strong connotations of depression, intelligence and problems. It was a clever from Stephen Chbosky, you could tell that he too has passion for this music. 

Most importantly, this film brings home the truths of how hard it is growing up. Having to move schools, making friends, having issues at home...It's all portrayed perfectly from the director. "Welcome to the island of misfit toys." - When this line is spoken, we realize that most every high school kid has thought the same thing at some point. These are painful and difficult times and as Mr. Chbosky stated, we should encourage kids to fight through this stage and get on to the next and be able to find their true self. Clearly, the film made a strong impact on me.  The decision to release as a 12 certificate was wise. There is no excess of profanity or nudity to divert attention from what really matters - the characters. 

And the characters literally jumped out of the screen. Logan Lerman's performance blew me away. He did such an amazing job portraying the embodiment of Charlie through his expressions, his emotions, his movements, everything! He was wonderfully cast.  The last 10 minutes of the movie alone is awards worthy because it really shows how talented he really is. I fell in love with his performance. So perfect in every way.

Ezra Miller is also wonderful, yet again. He plays Patrick, a gay character who's not afraid of who he is and Ezra portrays him amazingly well. I've seen almost all of his work, and he's becoming a great actor who's very rare in the sense that he's brave and daring in contrast to the roles he has previously played. He steals every line and scene he's in, becoming the comic relief. But even so, Patrick has his own personal problems and seeing how he deals with these is heartbreaking. He brings this teenage boy to life, he makes him relatable despite being offbeat and crazy. This is where Ezra Miller proves once again just how great of an actor he is.

Having Chbosky adapt his own novel was a stroke of genius. You could not get anyone better to direct it other than the author himself because this is his book. This is his vision so he knows exactly how it goes in his head and we can see throughout the film, just how much his vision has truly come alive.  The dialogue is very honest and beautifully written. Not just the writing but the overall tone of the film reminds me a little bit of John Hughes' work.

This was not what I was expecting. I was expecting your usual "shy kid in high school learns to stick up for himself" sort of feel-good drama. This movie is so much more than that - I was truly blown away by the mature themes - mental illness, homosexuality, sexual abuse and suicide - and moving characters.  It's a film that looks at the emotional aspects of that point in life without being sentimental. I really cared about these three teens - Charlie, Sam, and Patrick - and their story never felt cheesy. Just real, and moving, and touching.

It's a fantastic film for teenagers and adults alike. 

9/10