The Perks of Being a Wallflower is actually one of the few books that I can say that I have read, as I am not a big reader it’s rare that I can engage in conversations surrounding popular literature. So it is even rarer to say that I have both read a book and seen its movie adaptation, but now with Perks, I can.
I don’t want this whole review to be about comparisons between the book and film, but what I will say is that I was really happy with what has been done here. The film sticks very close to the book and as it was a great book this is the story that I wanted to see produced and it was, great job. Firstly the cast are awesome, completely believable and engaging at every turn. There is so much going on in this movie and so many story lines but the focus is on Charlie (Logan Lerman). Recently catching my attention in Noah, Lerman delivers a wonderful performance here and helps to make the character of Charlie endlessly lovable and so easy to relate to, he is just a really cool character. However all of the characters that Stephen Chbosky has created here are fantastic and although they might not be the usual kinds of people that you would like or be interested in you find yourself caring for each of them. Emma Watson easily shakes off her Hermione role as Sam here, she plays this part really well and you find yourself wanting her to succeed. She shows off her acting talents here and gets stuck into a performance that allows her to explore a role maybe a bit more than she has had the chance to before.
Paul Rudd was an interesting choice to play Mr. Anderson but he does well, the mentor relationship that he and Charlie has is more subtle in the movie but I liked this. It would have been too much to focus further on this relationship and I think this is why Rudd does so well in this role, it is understated but really effective. In comparison to other coming of age movies this relationship could seem that it was lacking however I simply see it as showing that it can still work without being the focus, more of a background theme. This story is drenched in music, film and literature references and that makes it so rich – it draws from the strengths of all these and uses them to contribute to what is created here. I love the underlying messages behind this film, it certainly is accurate in a lot of its themes and portrays most things in a way that all viewers should be able to relate to. Chbosky knows what he wants to do with these characters and the themes here and he does it wonderfully. As the film unfolds it may not be the funniest or the most feel good coming of age movie however it is powerful in what it has to say and I think it is easily one of the strongest films in its genre. However the ending makes for a nice sentiment and a scene that I am sure will become iconic to fans of this film.
BIGGEST FLAW – I’m not keen on all the Rocky Horror Picture Show stuff but that is just personal taste
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT – Chboskys character development
Rating – 10/10