Every half term Priestley’s Media and Film Studies department is holding a competition to find the best film critic in College. The winner of the September / October best film review is Ellen Wooler and you can read her thoughts on The Perks of Being a Wallflower below ..
Cast: Logan Lerman, Ezra Miller, Emma Watson, Paul Rudd
Director: Stephen Chbosky
Based on the novel set in the early 1990s, written by Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a heart warming story about 16-year-old Charlie (Logan Lerman), a lovable and naive outcast. Struggling with friendship and family insecurities, he meets a group of high school seniors; Sam (Emma Watson), Patrick (Ezra Miller), Alice (Erin Wilhelmi) and Mary Elizabeth (Mae Whitman), who befriend the awkward but intelligent freshman. His new friends expose him to a new world of drugs, sexuality, death, parties, relationships, love, friendship, and lies and show him how to enjoy and experience life by not really caring.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a lovely, heart warming film, showing off the varied talents of Ezra Miller, Emma Watson and Logan Lerman. The film starts off with Charlie (Logan Lerman) looking miserably out upon the world. He’s about to start his freshman year of high school and is painfully underwhelmed by the idea. On his first day of school, he manages to impress only his English teacher (Paul Rudd), which Charlie describes brilliantly as “Sorta depressing.” He eats alone, he writes weird letters to an anonymous person he addresses as ‘friend’ and he longs for social interactions of any kind. Finally, he’s befriended by a group of seniors. Sam (Emma Watson) and Patrick (Ezra Miller) flow into Charlie’s life and take him under their wings, making everything funnier, better and more tolerable for the troubled teenager.
The acting is amazing, and I was especially impressed with Ezra Miller’s performance. He was simply overwhelming in We Need to Talk About Kevin, and he’s the single reason as well that The Perks of Being a Wallflower is such a big hit. His take on Patrick, a wounded and valuable high school senior, profoundly explores the journey everyone takes up at some point in their life to discover who they truly are. Emma Watson and Logan Lerman are tremendous just as well, but without the character of Patrick, who holds the metaphorical reigns on most of the film’s tension, the film simply wouldn’t have worked as beautifully.
Most teenagers will easily relate with the characters in this film and understand the pain of losing the people you love, the hatred of high school and the depression that can sometimes accompany it but will also relate to the joy that this film brings. The most beautiful part is that the characters are all so hurt with secrets and the pasts that they will always carry with them.
I love the way this film has managed to steer clear of the whole clichéd idea, of course there are Jocks, Nerds and Cheerleaders featured in the film but it is not as in your face as most teenage, high school comedies around these days. The characters are, as previously mentioned, easy to relate to and therefore likable and not phony.
After previously reading the novel I was a bit sceptical when this film was first announced, I thought there was no way it could possible live up to the beauty of a novel that changed my life but I was definitely proved wrong. This is a must see film and you won’t be disappointed. Just make sure you bring plenty of tissues!