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The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Film Review

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by Caitlin Pianta (subscribe)
Freelance writer living in the Australian Capital
Published February 5th 2013
For fans of the Stephen Chbosky book, the film re-creation of The Perks of Being a Wallflower has been a long anticipated event, and it's one that doesn't disappoint.

The book and film, both big hits with adolescent hipsters the world over, have met controversy as it is either loved passionately or hated, equally as passionately. Criticised for being "just another Holden Caulfield" in the novel, the movie stands to show the differences in these protagonists and carries a maturity in the main character, Charlie (Logan Lerman) that was not as present in the novel.



The Perks of Being a Wallflower follows Charlie through the isolating experience of his first year of High School. Already a challenge for most teenagers, Charlie carries emotional and mental issues that further exacerbate the loneliness of his new environment.
Despite this, he eventually makes friends with Patrick (played by the fantastic Ezra Miller), an eccentric senior who both helps and is helped by Charlie throughout their journey, and Sam (Emma Watson), Ezra's beautiful stepsister who carries an intense love of music. As Charlie begins to fit in with them and their oddball group of friends, the highs and lows of growing up and the intricacies of indelicacies of carrying on human relationships is captured perfectly in an understated and matter-of-fact way.

The film soundtrack is absolutely superb and stays true to the novel, the casting is similarly fantastic and all the characters fit almost perfectly their physical appearances I had envisioned when reading the book.



I feel that Charlies teacher, Mr. Anderson (Paul Rudd) could have been used more effectively in the movie, as he was in the novel, however Rudd does a magnificent performance, portraying the teacher who reaches out to Charlie and embraces his passion for literature.

There are a couple of cringe-inducing moments - including the slightly laid-on quote "we accept the love we think we deserve" - and there are a lot of big issues tackled in the 102 minutes which can make the viewer walk away a little overwhelmed, however overall, the film builds up to a well-delivered climax and the portrayal of the confusing journeys into both adolesence and adulthood (insights portrayed by Charlie and his older friends respectively) are relatable to any audience.

Overall, a true-to-the-novel adaptation that Chbosky (also the Director) should be proud of.
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Why? For a relatable storyline and a great soundtrack
When: Already released
Where: In Cinemas
Cost: Varies
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