The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012): A Film Review

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IMDB Rating: 8.0/10

[last lines]

Charlie: [voice-over] I don’t know if I will have the time to write any more letters because I might be too busy trying to participate. So if this does end up being the last letter, I just want you to know that I was in a bad place before I started high school, and you helped me. Even if you didn’t know what I was talking about or know someone who’s gone through it, you made me not feel alone. Because I know there are people who say all these things don’t happen. And there are people who forget what it’s like to be 16 when they turn 17. I know these will all be stories someday. And our pictures will become old photographs. We’ll all become somebody’s mom or dad. But right now these moments are not stories. This is happening. I am here and I am looking at her. And she is so beautiful. I can see it. This one moment when you know you’re not a sad story. You are alive, and you stand up and see the lights on the buildings and everything that makes you wonder. And you’re listening to that song and that drive with the people you love most in this world. And in this moment I swear, we are infinite.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is based on Stephen Chbosky’s novel of the same name. Interestingly, the film is also written and directed by Chbosky himself! I have not read the novel, so I cannot really be the judge of whether he stayed true to the original work or not, but judging from the film alone, I think that his work as a screenplay writer and a director is certainly commendable.

I am not going to write an overview of this film as I hope that anyone who wishes to see the film would not only be enjoying a great movie but also find themselves captivated with how powerful Chbosky’s work is!

I hold this film close to heart as it reminds me of the struggles that teenagers face in self- discovery. I think it is normal for everyone to yearn for a sense of belonging and craves for a group of people that can accept who they are. Charlie, the main protagonist of this film is an extremely introverted high school freshman, who struggles to cope with his best friend’s suicide and also making new friends in high school. It was definitely painful to watch him being so lonely and friendless. It breaks my heart seeing him eating alone during lunch and in every other scene of the movie. However, this is before he met two seniors (Ezra Miller and Emma Watson) who helped him go through his first year of high school and also made him accept his dark past.

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Despite this film being one of the greatest film to inspire countless tumblr posts, it discusses on a lot of serious issues such as the usage of recreational drugs amongst teenagers, sexuality and also teen bullying in high school. Although these issues were not the central theme of the film, it did not fail to make me realize that no matter how young or old a person is, we cannot run from facing problems and battling out with our inner demons. What sets us apart from doing what is right instead of otherwise is not our virtuoso but rather our willingness to learn from past mistakes.

I will end this film review by recommending this film to anyone who wishes to experience joy and sadness in a film! The ending was indeed beautiful to me as Charlie started to recover from his emotional instability and his mental health was starting to recover. His new found optimism inspired me to see the better side of every situation because in many cases, our own struggles are actually blessings in disguise that helps us realize and find the hope behind every sadness.

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Have you ever felt desperately alone despite being surrounded by a lot of people?

 

As always, thank you.

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