“Patrick: What is it? What’s Wrong?
Charlie: I didn’t think anyone noticed me.”
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a book to movie adaptation which was released in 2012. My only excuse for having not watched this sooner, is that I’ve only recently read the book, for which I have detailed my thoughts in another post.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower follows a fifteen year old boy named Charlie. Having suffered from depression, he is discharged from a psychiatric hospital and is about to start his freshman year of High School, which terrifies him. So he starts writing letters to a ‘friend’ about his life, without disclosing his identity. He meets two seniors, step-siblings Patrick and Sam. He soon becomes part of their friendship group. Throughout the movie he is also given extra books to read by his English teacher, Mr Anderson.
Charlie is picked on and teased throughout the movie however, unlike a lot of High School movies, he isn’t concerned with being ‘popular’. All Charlie wants is to participate and to make friends. And to finish High School, but he counted and that’s one thousand three hundred and eighty five days away.
As I did with my book review, I want to state some potential trigger warnings. I can’t say whether the content spoken about, or if the way it’s presented, would cause emotional distress however, it might be worth it to be aware these are present within the movie:
Violence, Sexual Assault, Child Abuse, Homophobia, Self-Harm and Suicide.
The author, Stephen Chbosky, also wrote the screenplay and directed the movie. As you can imagine, the adaptation is very true to the source material. There is only one scene I can think of from the book which wasn’t present which I feel should have made the cut. However, I can understand why it didn’t.
The rest I feel they depicted a lot of the important scenes from the book and I feel they did them justice. I do wish we had more scenes with Charlie’s siblings however, again I understand why this isn’t the case.
The casting, in my opinion, is brilliant. Each actor and actress portrayed their character so well and I can’t imagine anyone else in those roles.
This is a coming of age story which handles heavy and difficult topics in a really good way. This movie has the potential to be heart-wrenching and gut-wrenching. Personally I did shed a few tears by the end but, just like the book, it has a way of insinuating what happened without showing or telling you. It’s the implication and you almost have to work it out for yourself. Almost.
Like I imagine most people’s High School experiences are, (although I’ve never attended an American High School so I’m using my extensive knowledge obtained from various books, shows, movies and forums over the years), there are definitely some cringe-worthy, face palm moments within the film. However, there are also those moments where you can’t help but smile.
Overall I’ve really enjoyed the time I’ve spent with the book, the movie and these characters. I wish I knew how their futures panned out. All in all I found it a wonderful, horrible, funny, hard-hitting and timeless story.