Thursday, November 8, 2012

Movie Review: Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a nice little indie film with good acting and a poignant storyline. We meet Charlie (Logan Lerman) as he trods off on his first day as a high school freshman. It's mid-late 1990s. He's back from a summer at an institution and as he observes his fellow students, you can see him folding inward, trying to be invisible. He's smart and observant and desperately wants a friend, to belong somewhere.

Fortunately, he meets Patrick, a flamboyant young man. Patrick (Ezra Miller)and his stepsister, Sam (played by the lovely Emma Watson - all grownup from Harry Potter days), run a little renegade group and welcome Charlie to the land of the misfits. He indeed fits right in. Smart, witty - these kids all have secrets as they try to grow up and figure out life. Charlie falls head over heels for Sam, but another girl in the group really likes him. Sadly and typically that causes a rift in the dynamics. The problem is that Charlie keeps remembering things from when he was a little boy, and as these memories emerge he has more reasons to be depressed.

So, that paragraph sounded dark and dreary. The movie does have deep issues and is serious, and yet while watching it, I laughed at a lot of the clever lines and enjoyed hanging with these kids. The movie time going by did not drag or seem pathetic or dreary at all. The nineties vibe is captured well and the soundtrack gives a great atmosphere. Charlie watches as his friends prepare to graduate, and his time with these kids gives him more confidence. An English teacher, played by Paul Rudd, is also an anchor for Charlie, a mentor who encourages Charlie's reading and writing.

As a wallflower, you get to step back and watch the world. But sooner or later, you have to plunge into living. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a nifty little film highlighting teen life in general. Worth plucking out of the current movie choices.

I also recommend the book by Stephen Chbosky. He wrote it and then directed the film.

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