The Perks of Being a Wallflower: A Movie Review
Overview of the Movie
“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is a coming-of-age movie that was released in 2012, directed by Stephen Chbosky and based on his 1999 novel of the same name. The story takes place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, during the early 1990s, and follows an introverted teenage boy named Charlie as he navigates his first year of high school.
Charlie struggles with mental health issues stemming from childhood trauma, making him an outsider to his peers. However, he finds solace in two seniors – Sam and Patrick – who introduce him to their circle of friends.
The film’s casting included Logan Lerman as Charlie, Emma Watson as Sam and Ezra Miller as Patrick. Aside from the three main characters, the cast also includes Paul Rudd as Bill Anderson, Charlie’s English teacher who encourages him to read literature outside his curriculum.
Background Information on Author and Director
Stephen Chbosky is an American novelist, screenwriter and film director known for writing “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” He also wrote for television shows like “Jericho” and “My Friend Dahmer.” He directed “The Four Corners of Nowhere,” which won the audience award at Sundance Film Festival in 1995. Chbosky grew up in Pittsburgh himself which is where he set his book/movie.
Chbosky’s decision to direct the adaptation was born out of a desire to maintain control over how closely the movie followed his book rather than handing it off to an outsider director. He wanted it filmed exactly how he saw it in his head when writing it years before.
With Stephen Chbosky directing this adaptation we can rest assured that this story will be told exactly how he envisioned it when he wrote the book. Now that the foundation of the movie has been covered, let’s delve into the plot and its characters.
Main character introduction – Charlie
Charlie is the main protagonist of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. He is portrayed by Logan Lerman in the movie. Charlie is an introverted and shy high school freshman who struggles with making friends and fitting in.
He has a sensitive and empathetic personality, which makes him an outsider among his peers. Throughout the movie, we see Charlie’s character develop and grow as he navigates through adolescence.
Setting – high school in the 1990s
The movie takes place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during the early 1990s. The setting plays a significant role in shaping the story as it captures the essence of that era’s culture.
From fashion to music, everything about this film screams ’90s nostalgia. It was a time when alternative rock and grunge music were becoming mainstream, creating a unique identity for high school students.
Charlie’s struggles with mental health and family issues
Charlie has had a rough childhood that affects his mental health throughout his teenage years. His best friend committed suicide when they were both younger, leaving him traumatized and feeling guilty for not being able to help her.
As he starts high school, he begins to experience flashbacks from his past traumatic experiences. Additionally, Charlie also has to deal with family problems as he grows up.
His aunt died tragically when he was young, causing his mother to spiral into depression. This event caused emotional distance between them leading to lack of communication on pressing issues concerning Charlie’s life
Friendship with Sam and Patrick, and their impact on Charlie’s life
Sam (Emma Watson) is one of the first people who befriends Charlie when he starts high school along with her step-brother Patrick (Ezra Miller). They introduce him to new experiences like parties where they bond over music and their shared love of literature.
Through his interactions with Sam and Patrick, Charlie learns to open up about his past experiences and emotions. Their friendship provides him a sense of belonging and acceptance that he has never experienced before.
Sam becomes a source of support for Charlie, helping him come to terms with his past while Patrick helps him come out of his shell through the joyous experiences they share. They both impact on his life in a significant way, making The Perks of Being a Wallflower one of the most emotional coming-of-age stories ever told.
Mental Health and Trauma Recovery
The Perks of Being a Wallflower delves deeply into the topic of mental health, specifically Charlie’s struggles with depression and anxiety stemming from past traumatic experiences. Throughout the movie, we see Charlie attending therapy sessions, struggling with flashbacks, and ultimately confronting his repressed memories.
The delicate handling of this topic is commendable and accurate in portraying the effects of trauma on one’s mental health. Furthermore, the movie portrays recovery from trauma as a gradual process that requires patience and understanding.
Charlie’s journey to recovery is not linear – he experiences setbacks along the way. But through his friendships with Sam and Patrick, he learns to trust again, confide in others, and eventually find closure to his traumatic past.
Adolescence, Identity, and Self-Discovery
At its core, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a coming-of-age story that explores the complexities of adolescence. The movie tackles issues such as social acceptance or rejection; experimenting with drugs; questioning one’s sexual orientation; struggling with conformity; navigating peer pressure; exploring love – all while trying to figure out who you are.
The characters’ journeys towards self-discovery are compellingly portrayed throughout the film. They show that it’s okay not to have everything figured out yet – that it’s normal for adolescents to make mistakes or feel lost sometimes.
The Importance of Friendship
Friendship is a central theme in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. It shows how genuine connections can provide support during difficult times while also helping individuals grow emotionally. Charlie finds solace in his friendship with Sam and Patrick as they encourage him to come out of his shell.
Additionally, the movie highlights how supportive friends can help each other overcome their problems rather than judging them for their flaws or mistakes. This emphasis on compassion within friendships makes The Perks of Being a Wallflower stand out as a heartwarming tribute to the importance of human connection.
The Power of Literature
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is also an ode to literature’s transformative power. Charlie finds comfort in books and literature, using them as an escape from his reality. The movie highlights how reading can open doors to new perspectives and provide emotional resonance by allowing us to step into different characters’ shoes.
Moreover, the film portrays how literature brings people together – Charlie shares books with his friends, leading to deeper conversations that strengthen their friendship. This portrayal reinforces the notion that literature has the potential to connect individuals on a profound level.
Charlie – The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Charlie is the protagonist of the movie, and his character development throughout the film is what makes it so compelling. He is a shy and introverted high school student who has suffered from severe mental health issues in his past.
Throughout the movie, we see him struggling to overcome these issues while navigating the complexities of adolescence. Charlie’s personality is complex, and he often grapples with feelings of isolation and self-doubt.
However, as he begins to form meaningful connections with Sam and Patrick, we see him gradually open up and become more confident in himself. His growth throughout the movie is evident in his ability to confront his demons head-on and accept help from those around him.
Sam – The Free Spirit
Sam is one of Charlie’s closest friends in the movie, and her influence on him cannot be overstated. She is open-minded, free-spirited, and fiercely independent – qualities that Charlie admires deeply.
Sam has her own set of struggles as well; she comes from a broken home and has experienced trauma that leaves her feeling vulnerable at times. However, her positive outlook on life allows her to embrace new experiences fully, something that inspires Charlie to do the same.
Throughout the movie, we see Sam’s influence on Charlie help him break out of his shell. Her willingness to listen without judgment provides him with a sense of safety that allows him to explore new things without fear.
Patrick – The Loyal Friend
Patrick is another critical character in Charlie’s life; he is also one of Charlie’s closest friends in high school. Although Patrick initially appears carefree and energetic on first meeting him, we eventually learn he too struggles with issues related to sexual orientation.
Despite this struggle which leads to bullies targeting him relentlessly, Patrick is always a loyal friend to both Charlie and Sam. He is often the one who encourages Charlie to take risks and step out of his comfort zone.
Patrick’s character serves as a reminder that true friendship is about being there for each other through thick and thin, no matter what obstacles are in the way. His influence on Charlie highlights the importance of finding a support system in life, even when times get tough.
Cinematography & Soundtrack
The Power of Music in Setting the Tone
One of the most striking elements of The Perks of Being a Wallflower is its use of music to set the tone and mood. From the opening scene, where David Bowie’s “Heroes” plays over a montage of high school scenes, to the iconic tunnel scene set to “Come On Eileen,” music is an integral part of the storytelling in this film. The soundtrack includes a mix of classic rock and 90s indie hits, curated by music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas.
Each song is carefully chosen to fit with the emotional beats of the story, and often serves as a shorthand for Charlie’s feelings. When he feels isolated or overwhelmed, we hear him listening to headphones or turning up his Walkman; when he’s happy or connected with his friends, we hear their shared music playing in the background.
Overall, The Perks of Being a Wallflower shows that music has an incredible power to bring people together and help us express our emotions. Whether it’s dancing at homecoming or singing along on a road trip, these characters use music as a way to connect with each other and with something larger than themselves.
Visuals that Convey Emotions
In addition to its memorable soundtrack, The Perks of Being a Wallflower also features stunning visuals that help convey the emotions and experiences of its characters. From slow-motion shots at critical moments to clever camera angles that highlight important details, every aspect of this movie’s cinematography is carefully crafted. One particularly effective technique used throughout the film is Charlie’s habit of standing back from groups or events and simply observing.
This allows us as viewers to see things from his perspective, taking in small details that might otherwise go unnoticed. For example, during a party scene early on in the film, we see Charlie watching a group of girls dancing and laughing together, but he’s unable to summon the courage to join them.
This shot perfectly captures his sense of isolation and longing. The film also uses color in interesting ways to convey mood and emotion.
When Charlie is feeling down or overwhelmed, the colors are often muted or dark; when he’s happy or excited, they’re brighter and more vibrant. These subtle touches help make the story more immersive and emotionally impactful.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower as a Visual and Musical Experience
Overall, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is an incredibly rich visual and musical experience that draws viewers in with its compelling characters, intricate plot, and stunning cinematography. By using music as a way to connect characters emotionally and visually convey their experiences through clever camera work, the movie shapes itself into something truly special. It is no surprise that the soundtrack was just as successful as the movie because it has an emotional quality that makes it unforgettable long after you’ve watched it.
Reception & Impact of the Movie
Box Office Success & Critical Acclaim
The Perks of Being a Wallflower movie was released on September 20, 2012, and grossed $33.4 million worldwide. The movie was made with a budget of $13 million.
It is not only a financial success but also critically acclaimed. Rotten Tomatoes gives the movie an approval rating of 86% based on 205 reviews, with an average rating of 7.5/10.
Critics have praised the film for its attention to detail in capturing the spirit and tone of Stephen Chbosky’s source material while also providing a unique cinematic experience. Emma Watson’s performance as Sam has been particularly lauded by critics, with many noting that her portrayal effectively captured the character’s emotional depth and complexity.
Impact on Audiences and Pop Culture
The Perks of Being a Wallflower has had a profound impact on audiences around the world since its release in 2012. Young people have been drawn to its themes of adolescent struggle, mental health issues, and self-discovery.
One area in which The Perks of Being a Wallflower has had a significant impact is on mental health awareness, particularly among young people. The film depicts mental illness with honesty and sensitivity, portraying recovery as an ongoing process rather than something that can be solved overnight.
Additionally, The Perks of Being a Wallflower has become something of a cultural touchstone for young adults who grew up in the ’90s or early 2000s. Its depiction of high school life during this time resonates strongly with many viewers who grew up during this era.
Legacy of the Movie
The legacy of The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is multifaceted: not only has it become one for modern classic, but it has also had a lasting impact on popular culture. The film’s themes of adolescent struggle and mental health have continued to resonate with audiences, particularly young people. Furthermore, the film has been praised for its ability to adapt Chbosky’s novel into a powerful cinematic experience that is true to the source material while also standing on its own as a work of art.
Overall, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower stands as a testament to the power of literature and cinema alike in exploring complex themes that resonate with audiences. Its impact on pop culture and mental health awareness ensures that it will continue to be remembered as a landmark achievement in modern storytelling for years to come.
What is the point of The Perks of Being a Wallflower?
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a coming-of-age story about a shy teenager named Charlie who learns to embrace life and all its challenges. The book explores themes of love, loss, friendship, and self-discovery. It is a story about finding your place in the world and learning to love yourself for who you are.
What is Perks of Being a Wallflower about short summary?
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a semi-autobiographical novel by Stephen Chbosky. It tells the story of Charlie, a shy and introverted teenager who begins his freshman year of high school. Charlie is a wallflower, someone who observes life from the sidelines. He is not popular and does not have many friends. However, he does make two friends, Sam and Patrick, who help him come out of his shell and experience life to the fullest.
What is Charlie’s guilt in The Perks of Being a Wallflower?
Charlie feels guilty about the death of his older brother, Michael. Michael committed suicide when Charlie was just a child, and Charlie has never fully come to terms with his death. He feels like he could have done something to prevent it, and he carries a lot of guilt around with him.
What lesson does Charlie learn in Perks of Being a Wallflower?
Charlie learns a lot of lessons in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. He learns to embrace life and all its challenges. He learns to love himself for who he is. He learns the importance of friendship and family. He learns that it is okay to be different.
Does Charlie lose his virginity in Perks of Being a Wallflower?
Yes, Charlie loses his virginity in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. He has sex with Sam, one of his best friends. It is a consensual and loving experience, and it helps Charlie to feel more confident and connected to Sam.
Why is Charlie suicidal in Perks of Being a Wallflower?
Charlie is suicidal in The Perks of Being a Wallflower because he is struggling with a lot of emotional pain. He is grieving the death of his brother, he is struggling with his sexuality, and he is feeling isolated and alone. He feels like he is a burden to everyone around him, and he thinks that the world would be better off without him.