The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

  • Year:2012
  • Rating:M
  • Director:Stephen Chbosky
  • Cast:Ezra Miller , Logan Lerman, Paul Rudd, Emma Watson
  • Release Date:November 29, 2012
  • Distributor:Roadshow
  • Running time:103 minutes
  • Film Worth:$18.00
  • FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

A stellar adaptation and a beautifully crafted coming-of-age tale that comes wrapped in all the promise and possibility of adolescence.

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Given the major cult status surrounding Stephen Chbosky’s debut novel, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, it’s a good thing that the author was given the chance to direct his own film adaptation, as disgruntled fans can hardly accuse the screen version of departing from the original’s sentiment. And to his credit, Chbosky does a stellar job, drawing out all the tender, bruising and nostalgic emotions of his work, and exquisitely translating them to screen.

Refreshingly playing out circa-1991, when crafting a mix tape rather than adding someone on Facebook was the way to win your crush, the story centres around perpetually shy fifteen-year-old, Charlie (a perfectly cast Logan Lerman), who’s literally counting down the days until he graduates high school. But Charlie’s life takes a dramatic upturn when he befriends outcast stepsiblings, Sam (Emma Watson in a sweet and sassy turn) and Patrick (Ezra Miller steals the show, layering his eccentric bravado with surprising tenderness).

The story inevitably touches on a plethora of pop culture references in the form of Sam’s hip musical taste (quoted lines include: “The Smiths! Best break-up band ever!” and “Music is so much better on vinyl!”) and Paul Rudd’s warm English teacher, who plies Charlie with the likes of Salinger and Kerouac. But Chbosky’s weapon in riding out the cringe-worthy moments is his utter lack of condescension. His film feels warm and true, revealing the awe in discovering treasured songs and books for the first time, and more importantly, revels in the joy of connecting with one’s first true friends. Chbosky doesn’t shy away from fleshing out the dark and painful moments of his tome, but it’s all beautifully underpinned by the feelings of hope and possibility unique to adolescence.

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