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The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) Movie Review & Summary

The story is a movie adaptation of the American writer Stephen Chbosky’s (who also directed and wrote the screenplay) book of the same name and follows the coming-of-age story of Charlie (Logan Lerman) as he deals with his first year in high school, his first love, Sam (Emma Watson), as he comes to term with his troubled past to face his future.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)

We are infinite.

  • Genres: Drama & romance
  • Stars: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson & Ezra Miller
  • Director: Stephen Chbosky

Evaluation

Perks of Being a Wallflower takes home the award as best coming-of-age story with its lead actors’ powerful performance, tear-jerking story, and its powerful and faithful interpretation of the novel. This movie is one of the rare films that should be on everyone’s watch list. And we literally mean everyone.

Pros

  • Heartbreaking/warming story
  • Impressive performances from lead actors
  • Unique, wonderful music that showcases underrated songs from brilliant artists
  • Written and directed by the author who wrote the original novel

Cons

4.5/5
Overall
Storyline
4.5
Screenplay
4.5
Characters & Acting
4.5
Music & cinematography
4.5

The details

Summary

Charlie is your typical fifteen-year-old freshman and goes through his first day without any friends. That is until he meets the flamboyant senior, Patrick (Ezra Miller), and his step-sister, Sam (Emma Watson). They immediately become friends, especially after learning that Charlie’s best friend committed suicide just that summer. As most of us did in high school, Charlie soon finds out that making friends and keeping them are entirely different things when he comes face to face with the pains that tear them apart and the ties that bind them together.

Storyline

We’ve had our share of good coming-of-age films such as Ferris Beuler’s Day-off, The Breakfast Club, and the list goes on, but Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) is by far the closest thing that will ever portray what it’s like to grow up as a millennial. The movie is remarkably relatable when it tackles themes on sexuality, drugs, bullying, and most notable of all, mental health.

But what impresses us the most is that the dark themes in the flick are impressively kept in balance with the abundance of warm, wholesome scenes that will surely make even the coldest of cold hearts melt. There are many notable scenes here that perfectly portray the innocence of growing up and why it’s just so damn hard to forget your highschool friends.

But we did not ever expect the extremely dark twist at the end of the movie that incredibly pushed the stakes at their highest for our troubled protagonist. Trust us; you will definitely not see it coming, nor will you be disappointed by the payoff when everything is said and done. The story alone is more than enough reason to watch the film.

Screenplay

In the movie industry, it is an absolute rarity for an author to write the screenplay for the movie adaptation of his own best-selling novel for many reasons. But we’re glad that none of the reasons dissuaded Stephen Chbosky, who persevered to write and direct this film as an independent movie because it is a heartfelt, authentic interpretation of the novel. This movie will have you memorize quotable lines that are filled with wisdom and brevity.

The lines are also cleverly written, that you might even say that movie might even be better than the book.

Characters and acting

There couldn’t have been a more perfect cast of actors to portray the soft-spoken Charlie, the firecracker of a diva Patrick, and the lovable girl-next-door Sam. Logan Lerman, Ezra Miller, and Emma Watson dish out strong performances that will definitely have any viewer feel the colorful characters’ joys and tears.

But if we were to pick only one, Emma Watson’s portrayal of Sam would have to be the best of the three. As even director Stephen Chbosky pointed out that he cast Emma Watson when he watched a sad scene of Hermione Granger in Harry Potter, Emma also delivered the same depth and darkness as Sam.

Music and cinematography

If you love the seventies’ music to the nineties as much as we do, you will definitely adore this film. The film boasts tracks from David Bowie, the Beatles, and even the Smiths that help bring out the “indie” feel of the movie while maintaining an atmosphere of familiarity and relatability. It’s hard to not sing along to even one song in this film.

It is also a pleasure to see the visual interpretation of Stephen Chbosky for this film, as he is the original author of the novel. Each scene is packed with meaning and sincerity, making it hard for any viewer to misinterpret any scene’s mood, quite an incredible feat for someone who doesn’t direct many major movies.  Stephen Chbosky knew exactly what he wanted for a specific scene and knew how to entice his actors’ emotions to get the perfect shots.

We also love the pop-culture references such as Rocky Horror and so much more, which Stephen Chbosky masterfully adapted to the film.

Final verdict

If you are a curious mainstream moviegoer who just wants to know what an actual indie film looks like, or if you can only see one indie film in your entire life, then definitely watch Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012). The film will have you floating through the clouds with its highs and will leave your mouth agape in shock with the devastating ebbs of its lows. This film is the penultimate representation of what it means to be a teenager.

The only regret we have for this movie is that we didn’t see this at the theaters. It’s just that damn good! So save it on your watch list, go set a two-hour schedule (preferably at night) where you won’t get disturbed, and watch this brilliant movie masterpiece. You can thank us later.

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