"The Perks of Being a Wallflower" blooms in on-screen adaptation
Published: Friday, October 5, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 5, 2012 15:10
The beloved book “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” was adapted to the big screen this year. It is a quiet film that is lovely, heart wrenching, and tender. While it is nothing groundbreaking, it is an extremely enjoyable movie that is very worth seeing.
The film follows the quirky friendship of three troubled teenagers, Charlie (Logan Lerman), Sam (Emma Watson), and Patrick (Ezra Miller). When the movie begins, Charlie is starting high school, struggling with feeling alone – until he meets a group of other “wallflowers.” The other “misfits” introduce him to a world of friendship and honesty that he had never known. He is opened up for the first time to the painful and troubled past of others and confronts the trauma in his own.
“Wallflower” explores drug use, suicide, heartbreak and abuse with an air of dignity and grace that is very touching. It shies away from nothing and, in turn, allows all people, regardless of age, a chance to relate to the story. It steers clear of melodrama in order to drive an even sharper sadness into the hearts of its audience.
Every actor delivers a nuanced and solid performance, though it is Emma Watson who truly shines. On a technical level, her American accent is flawless. It enhances, rather than draws away, from her performance; it is a testament to her versatility and her acting abilities. She paints the perfect portrait of a girl who is living on the tip of an iceberg, trying to maintain a stable life despite her history. Her troubled past, while not visible in the film, is palpable. Her troubles become apparent in her every line and movement, in her very being. Watson’s work is impressive and adds an incredibly intriguing dimension to the movie.
Logan Lerman had a difficult task at hand when it came to portraying Charlie. He did a very commendable job, though there was “something” lacking from his performance. Charlie is a troubled and quiet teen. While Lerman provides a wonderful and subtle portrayal, there is a certain tumultuousness that the character of Charlie needed that Lerman did not provide. At times, his subtlety, which may be intended as a sort of numbness, can be mistaken for a lack of acting abilities. All negativity aside, though, Lerman delivers a wonderful performance of a boy who confronts his demons and starts to come alive for the very first time.
Paul Rudd also makes a small, but dynamic appearance as Charlie’s teacher. He adds warmth to the film that was vital and delightful. His appearances were a breath of fresh air that framed and intensified troubling moments.
“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is an “off the beaten trail” kind of movie that is nuanced and digestible. It is enriching but does not shove its message down the audiences’ throats. The movie is subtle but contains a world of energy that drives it forward and marches it straight to the heart. It is a quietly vivacious film that is more than worth a visit to the theater.