This is movie about a shy,naive anti-social freshman Charlie who is just about to start his schooling year and wants this year to be different as he wishes to be more participating than standing aside.He manages to befriend two of the most outspoken seniors of the school and they introduces Charlie to this new world .As Charlie begins to come out his shell,the fact that his new found friends will be leaving to college worsens his panic attack and brings out a suppressed memory that is the core of his anti-social attitude.
Let me start of by saying I had read the book and its at the top of my favourite book list as it spoke to me in many levels.I have to admit that Stephen Chbosky manages to adapt his novel beautifully into this film.Yes,its a tamer version of the book but the spirit of the novel is is present throughout the novel.The only thing I'm disappointed is the decision of Chbosky made to trim Charlie's relationship with his family members especially his sister from the script.The relationship of Charlie and Candace(Nina Dobrev) is probably one of touching sibling relationship that I've read in a book or watch in a film and its a sad thing he decided to cut it out.However I do understand his decision to cut it off as it deals on more controversial themes like abortion in a movie that is already saturated with sex,drugs and alcohol.
Having a plot that is character driven,the casting is crucial.That's where Stephen Chbosky strikes gold.The casting in this movie is absolutely perfect starting from the protagonist Logan Lerman who plays the shy Charlie to the smallest role of Melanie Lynskey as Aunt Helen.
Logan Lerman gives a charming,honest performance as Charlie who wants to be more social this schooling year.He charms the audience with his innocent and naive looks and deliver a brilliant performance with the right amount of awkwardness and sweetness.He doesn't speak much but he captivates us and make us to root for him.His chemistry with Emma Watson and Ezra Miller is believable.
Paul Rudd as Charlie's teacher,Mae Whitman as the talkative Mary Elizabeth and Melanie Lynskey as Aunt Helen all gives a good performance with their limited screen time.I have said this before and I'm going to repeat it again.Mae Whitman is definitely one of the young actress to watch as she is handles both the dramatic and comedic department with ease.In this film she plays Mary Elizabeth ,the chatterbox feminist with a insecure side.
I'm very sure the musical score will be nostalgic to those who grew up in the 90s and there were some beautiful songs that were featured in the film.My favourite would be Asleep by the Smiths.Andrew Dunn the cinematographer had beautifully captured the beauty of Pittsburgh especially the skyline and its buildings in the night.The scenes in the tunnels are among those visual delights.
I realise that most of the negative reviews of this film tend to focus the fact that the kids in the film speaks like an adult but we have to realise that this film is set during the 90s,pre Internet and pre mobile phones,the time where kids spend their free times with reading actual books,listening to musics in the radio and poetry.Generally kids at that time are more put together than the kids nowadays.
In conclusion,The Perks of Being a Wallflower is definitely a gem of a film.It has many moments that is touching and on his way to become a classic and a cult film like its novel.Its definitely moving to my all time favourite lists of films.
Possible contenders for the following category:
Best Director-Stephen Chbosky
Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay-Stephen Chbosky
Best Actor-Logan Lerman
Best Supporting Actor-Ezra Miller
Best Original Score-Michael Brooks
Best Cinematography-Andrew Dunn