The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a 2012 film adaptation of the book of the same name by Stephen Chbosky. It is rated 12A due to thematic material, drug and alcohol use, sexual content and references. The film has a run time of 103 minutes.
Fifteen year old Charlie is just about to start high school. After having a rough time, which isn’t explained at the beginning of the film, he has no friends and is worried about what school will be like for him. On his first day, the only person he speaks to is his English teacher. However, two seniors eventually take him under his wing and show him what life can really be like if you have a good set of friends around you.
What I thought
I haven’t read the book of The Perks of Being a Wallflower but as soon as I saw the film trailer, I wanted to see it and then read the book. Not knowing anything about the plot, I was excited to see what this was really about as the film trailer doesn’t really give away too many clues.
Logan Lerman takes the lead as Charlie, a socially awkward teenager with no friends. He was a very endearing character who was likeable from the beginning. It was clear to see how hard going to high school was for him and that he didn’t feel comfortable being there, which made me feel a little bit sorry for him. However, as the plot begins to reveal itself, Charlie’s problems are slowly brought to light and you are able to get the bigger picture about why he is how he is. When Sam and Patrick befriend Charlie, he begins to come out of his shell and realise that he can have fun with his friends. Lerman is wonderful as Charlie and absolutely perfect for the role. He is funny and sweet in his naive ways and was a very interesting character.
Supporting here are Emma Watson as Sam and Ezra Miller as Patrick. Watson is obviously well known for her role as Hermione in the Harry Potter films while Miller is more of an up and comer. The two play step brother and sister who are very close in their relationship. They act more like best friends than siblings. The two characters are very different, each with their own secrets, but both are outgoing and loud – the complete opposite of Charlie. I really enjoyed watching Charlie begin to get to know Sam and Patrick as to begin with, he didn’t know how to act around them or what to say. As good as Watson was, with her American accent and likeable character, Miller was who I preferred. His character is much more fun and the actor really goes all out in this film.
While this is a coming of age story, there is so much more to it than that. The plot was wonderfully surprising and not quite what I was expecting. If you haven’t read the book, there are a fair few twists which may shock you, as they did me. There are major themes such as sex, eating disorders and homophobia which run throughout the story which is where things get a bit darker and more intense. The plot is also very fun at times, with Charlie beginning to get to know who he really is and due to him experiencing new and exciting things with his friends. The story is a really heartfelt one with a fantastic range of characters, not just Charlie, Sam and Patrick. Other characters help to make this story so special such as Mr Anderson the English teacher and Charlie’s other friends.
Soundtracks aren’t something that I usually pay attention to but with this film, I couldn’t help it. The Perks of Being a Wallflower has a great soundtrack mixed with a whole range of different artists. I also think that there is a song in here for everyone. With songs from Come On Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners to Asleep by The Smiths, a whole range of emotions are thought of in the choice of songs. Each song seemed to fit its scene perfectly and helped whatever was going on in the plot at the very moment.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a wonderful film for both teens and adults. The film showcases some wonderful new names in cinema and also shows a different light to Emma Watson who could have stayed as Hermione her whole life. I loved this film and can’t wait for it to come out on DVD now.