The Perks Of Being A Wallflower
Directed by Stephen Chbosky
Screenplay by Stephen Chbosky
Released: 8th September 2012
Distributors: Summit Entertainment
I don’t want to spoil this film for anyone who hasn’t read the book, or seen the film, so I will sum up my thoughts in a general sense first and then I will warn you to not continue to avoid spoilers. I read and reviewed the book last weeks, which you can find here, and I immediately wanted to see the adaptation.
Honestly, I went into this film with a sceptical mind, mainly because before I watched the film adaptation I’d heard a lot of mixed reviews about it. I was really interested to watch it so that I could form my own opinion on it. It is an adaptation of a wonderful book, and I was intrigued to see how they would translate this book to screen.
Firstly, I was concerned initially because I couldn’t understand how they would be able to take a book which is written in the form of letters, and create a screenplay that would feel as genuine. I thought it’d take the sincerity of the protagonist away, but I was pleasantly surprised and happy with the results. I was happy that the film remained faithful to the main plot points in the book, and really happy that the tone of the novel translated well.
I felt the tone translated fantastically, there were times I felt the same way as I did in the book. The actor that plays Charlie, Logan Lerman, did a great job conveying Charlie’s loneliness and naivety. The other supporting cast members were fantastic too. Once I’d gotten over Emma Watson’s American accent and removed her from the wizarding world, I realised she did an excellent job of bringing Sam to life. I must say, my favourite character on screen was Patrick, played by Ezra Miller. I wasn’t overly fussed with him in the book but I absolutely adored the character in the film.
The book and film are supposed to be set in the 1980s, I thought the film could have been set now, that didn’t come across strongly for me. I thought the soundtrack was beautifully chosen. It felt great to hear the music, which is something that the book physically cannot do, I was able to listen to the songs and watch their reactions, and feel their emotions.
Now, onto the in depth discussion, I’m going to discuss the film in more detail now, so there will be spoilers for those that haven’t read the book. Continue at your own risk.
I absolutely loved seeing some of my favourite moments in book on the screen, particularly my favourite moment the exchanging of the final secret Santa gifts, and also watching the cast recreate The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I thought it brought the fun side of the novel out perfectly, and it livened up the movie, especially as the plot is surrounded by darker themes and issues, such as Patrick overcoming bullying for his sexuality and Charlie’s abuse.
Due to the time constraints of film making, I was disappointed that Charlie’s relationship with his English teacher wasn’t highlighted more. It was one of my favourite relationships in the book and I’d have loved to see them interact more. I’m happy with what I saw, and I think the actors definitely brought the friendship to life. I just would have loved to have seen more.
I was disappointed with the way the abuse revelation was brought up, I think it was almost downplayed and was glossed over. There weren’t many mention of his Aunt Helen until the latter half of the film, and then when the truth was revealed it moved on too quickly to really see the effects it had on the character and his family. The characters depression wasn’t emphasised as much in the film, which I didn’t like because it played a major part of the characters journey in the book.
To sum up my thoughts on this film, I can understand the mixed reviews but I liked it overall. I wouldn’t include this film in my list of favourites, but I’d probably watch it again at some point. It’s certainly worth giving it a go.