The Perks of Being a Wallflower Reviews
"The Perks of Being a Wallflower" is based on the book written by Stephen Chbosky back in 1999, but this time, the author actually Directed the movie also. I for one had never read the book, but I heard it was really well-written, and quite dark for a book about a teen in high school, so I was a little worried about how the movie would go since it's PG-13, and books tend to be better most of the time because of more detail. Since I didn't read the book, I can't really say how similar the book and movie is, but from what I heard from others it's pretty darn close, except the movie is not quite as dark which is totally understandable since the movie is PG-13. Chbosky's Directional Debut is quite impressive, he made a very effective coming-of-age film which is very mature and truthful.
The first ten minutes of the movie is incredibly heartbreaking, Logan Lerman's acting is spot on, his voice and impressions on his face clearly shows that Charlie's character is suffering in silence. Ezra Miller gives a very energetic and likable performance of a character that's emotionally conflicted, and also brings most of the comedic elements to the film. Emma Watson (Hermione from the Harry Potter movies) gives such a electrifying and convincing performance that proves to be her strongest to date.
What makes "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" stick out from all the other coming-of-age movies is the darker content, the film doesn't hold back, it's really realistic how the messages about love, loss, friendship, and growing up are presented. The way Charlie is accepted in Sam's and Patrick's group is even quite realistic. Every character in the film is conflicted with their own demons, Charlie is suffering from depression because of his friend's suicide and the thought that he was the one who killed his aunt years ago, Sam is suffering from her troubled past that's still haunting her, and Patrick is dealing with his sexuality and his boyfriend who refuses to be seen in public with him.
The messages of love, loss, and friendship is demonstrated masterfully, Charlie is able to get through his depression problems because of Patrick and Sam, but Charlie is able to help Patrick and Sam with their problems also, the power of friendship is just perfectly shown. Charlie dealt with his friend's suicide badly in the beginning, but he realizes that he has to move on with life. Throughout the film, Charlie has his eyes set upon Sam, and though he has never experienced love before, Charlies knows he truly loves Sam not just by her physical look, but how they are able to talk to each other about deep and personal things.
The major issue with the film is the abrupt ending which holds a big twist that would of worked if the ending wasn't so rushed. The emotional impact is slightly there at the end and the movie ends with the message of hope and optimism for the future, but the ending seemed pretty forced and it loses that realism vibe the movie had for the first 80 minutes. There is also cheesy moments sprinkled here and there which are a bit off-putting (The scenes with Charlie and the teacher for example), but the performances are just amazing all around, so I didn't really mind the cheesiness all that much.