THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER

December 23, 2012

Joely Mitchell

Nowadays good films come and go. Some make you laugh, some make you cry, but rarely do these films make an impact on your life that last outside of the cinema doors.

Unfortunately, the cinema experience has changed with time. Seeing a film is no longer an exciting privilege, but merely an everyday possibility as long as you’ve got $20 for a ticket and popcorn. Cinema-goers are not to blame for this change; they are simply adapting to the luxuries which are presented to them. Although it is what is being presented to them that is the issue.

The film industry is so committed to entertainment that sometimes what it produces is overwhelmingly unentertaining; they try too hard to be funny or witty or romantic. It takes a good story, a good writer, a good director and a good team to create a film that takes its audience on a two hour journey which lasts beyond the closing credits. Thankfully Stephen Chbosky’sThe Perks of being a Wallflower does exactly that.

Publicity for this film was not flashy, therefore initial expectations were purposely set at a low standard. Emma Watson, well known for her input in the Harry Potter films, had chopped off all of her hair and was rejuvenating her career in a completely new film genre, playing Sam. Not only is the genre completely different from the spells and magic in the films that made her famous, but it required the British actor to play an American teenager, meaning that her accent needed to be dramatically workshopped.

Other major characters in the film were played by actors who are known only for their work in shows such as The Vampire Diaries (Nina Dobrev) and Parenthood (Mae Whitman).

Nonetheless, it was the actors who have previously never been in the spotlight who truly stole the show. Logan Lerman, plays teenager Charlie, who is struggling to find himself as he enters high school and is still dealing with traumatic experiences from his childhood. Another newbie, Ezra Miller plays an older high schooler who opens Charlie’s eyes to the real world, but who is also dealing with his own personal issues, such as his sexuality.

The purity of these actors allows them to portray their respectable characters in a relatable manner. Each character has an individual journey which the audience is destined to feel empathetic towards.

The bond between all characters, but in particular Charlie, Patrick and Sam shows that friendship allows individuals to prevail against difficult situations, including low grades, sexuality, relationships, abuse and even drugs.

Amongst all of this drama, the blossoming relationship between Charlie and Sam is pure enough to bring a tear to the toughest eye. As Charlie learns that “we accept the love we think we deserve”, he slowly allows himself to believe that he deserves the love of his friends and in particular, Sam.

The Perks of being a Wallflower proves that there is still hope left in the film industry and that entertaining films can still be created that take you on a journey and leave you with a poignant message.

Joely Mitchell

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