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Movie rating system (0-2) The movie is balls (2-4) A few moments but mostly bad (4-5.5) Entertaining film but lacking something to make it good. (6-7.5) A recommendation meaning a good solid watch. (8-10) must watch films, they are usually leaders in their respective genre. I can also be found on Facebook or follow my blog at the bottom of this page. THERE MAY BE MINI SPOILERS AHEAD!!! But there will be no endings/twists/cameos/or large plot reveals given.

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Wednesday, 17 April 2013

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Rated: PG-13
Running Time: 102 minutes
Starring: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Kate Walsh, Dylan McDermott, Nina Dobrev, Paul Rudd
Directed By: Stephen Chbosky
Rating: 8 out of 10
A freshman, who is battling depression, must try and survive his first year of high school with the help of two quirky seniors.

I wish Hermione Granger cast the spell Obliviate on me. That is so I could watch this movie all over again for the first time. And the award for nerdiest comment of the year goes to….this guy! There are certain movies that just seem to connect with me and this was one of them. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is the story of Charlie. He is a loner, an introvert, and he is depressed. He is a freshman in high school and is befriended by two seniors, who teach him about the joys of living life in the real world.

Love it or hate it, high school was a memorable time for most people. It is a time of self discovery and finding self worth. It is time of becoming an individual or blending in. It is a time of trying new things and making new friends. It is a time of happiness and can be a time of great pain. Whatever high school was for you, it is captured perfectly in this film. Charlie is a sad kid; he is too intelligent for his 15 years and has withdrawn from the world. The beginning of this film sees Charlie sharing his thoughts. He is recording them to an anonymous reader, by the way of typewriter. (No he is not a Hipster; this film takes place in the early nineties.) He feels alone and isolated, and he is about to start high school as a freshman. His first day confirms that it is as bad as he thought it was going to be. He is ignored by his older sister, he is ignored by his former friends, and he is even picked on by the geeky kids. His loneliness is complete until he is befriended by two seniors (Patrick and Sam). The two of them help Charlie break out of his anti-social mold and experience life in all of its glory. The film explores the harsh realities of the teenage psyche and also explores the complete happiness of the time. Charlie is someone who is easily relatable and someone you want only the best for. His journey can be intensely happy, like when he finds a group of new friends, has his first kiss, and tries pot for the first time. It can also be extremely dark, with tales of bigotry, persistent depression, and everyday struggles of being a teenager. There are so many perfectly captured moments in this film that you won’t know which your favorite is. It could be Charlie taking a chance at a school dance, or it could be simply riding with his friends in a truck, blasting a new tune. No matter the situation, this film feels perfect.

Charlie is played by Logan Lerman. I have never really liked Lerman in past roles (3:10 to Yuma, The Three Musketeers) as he was pretty one dimensional, not to mention annoying. He has changed my mind about him with this movie. He is shy and yet takes risks. He is geeky and yet charming when he needs to be. He can be aloof and then shockingly violent. He is rebellious but also very bookish. Most of all, he seems natural and is a very likeable guy. He plays so many different versions of the same character, that one can be only super impressed with his performance. He is supported by Patrick, played by Ezra Miller. Patrick is an outgoing, flamboyant personality that seems to have fun with life. He brings Charlie into his world without a thought to social status. Miller channels a truly believable character and adds a certain kind of panache to the role without going overboard. Sam is played by the pixyish, Emma Watson, as she tries to find herself outside of Harry Potter world. You don’t need to worry about her as she is going to be just fine. She will struggle a little as she still looks fourteen, but she looks to be having fun in this and is entirely believable as a best friend or a crush. She has a solid emotional range and that will only get better with time.

This film doesn’t seem to forget anything as it takes the viewer on an emotional roller coaster. You see Charlie becoming an aspiring writer. This aspiration is guided along by his favorite teacher (Paul Rudd). It deals with teenage abuse, both physical and emotional. It deals with dark thoughts and tough decisions. But above all else it deals with Charlie just trying to find himself during his freshman year. In conclusion, I loved this movie from top to bottom. I loved the extreme highs and depressing lows it is able to hit. I liked how it tackled hard topics and yet never loses its charm. Lastly, I loved how it made me feel young again.

Director Stephen Chbosky has put together a great little film. I cannot say if this does the book justice, as I have not read it. This film is so good though, that I will be reading it very shortly. It is beautifully shot, and the viewer feels he is right there with Charlie as he battles to survive. The musical score is perfect and it somehow is able to catch the essence of the teenage mind perfectly. The casting is sound, pacing is strong, and the situations are nostalgic. Great job and I can’t wait to see what Chbosky will do next.

I give this movie a recommendation as no matter what your social status was back in the day, there are a few smiles or tears embedded somewhere in this film, if you care to look.

T Factor + If you like indie films, than this could score higher on the rating scale.

T Factor – If you do not like films that involve depression, then this could score lower on the rating scale.

If you liked this film reel recommendations: Garden State, Breakfast Club.     

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