The Perks of Being a Wallflower Review: Lovingly Shot and Well Realised

rating:4

Today I went to see 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' and I was definitely impressed!

In Emma Watson's first movie since the Harry Potter series, she plays a senior high school student called Sam who catches the attention of Charlie (Logan Lerman). Based on the New York Times Bestselling novel by Stephen Chbosky, (who also wrote the screenplay and directed), the film is centered around freshman Charlie and told through his letters to a friend, he writes the story of his first year in high school.

The action begins when senior Patrick (Ezra Miller of 'We need to talk about Kevin' fame) takes Charlie under his wing, step-sister Sam decides he should become a part of their group of friends, inviting him in with the line "Welcome to the island of misfit toys.." The many ups and downs of teenage life and high school then ensue as he begins to experiment with drugs, girlfriends, new music and we start to delve into the intricate back stories of each character, all whilst Charlie longs to be with Sam. The main theme of the film is friendship and what it means to feel 'infinite', to be young and feel like nothing else matters. The film recreated this so perfectly and the tunnel scene was so excellently shot, it was as if you were feeling the exhilaration with them and evoked memories of my own teenage years. Brilliantly written, unique, witty and totally true to the book, the film will almost certainly have you laughing and at times on the verge of tears as the characters are so well acted, charismatic and believable that you feel as though you know them and definitely care for them. Paul Rudd (Clueless, Mike from Friends), also gives a great performance as English teacher 'Bill' who is there to expand Charlie's mind with books to read and advice throughout the film. Emma Watson radiates as Sam (especially in her corset, a high point for teenage boys everywhere!) and her american accent was quite good too. However, Logan Lerman steals the show with his depiction of Charlie which challenges the way people view people with mental illness as his personality is so strong and lovable throughout, with his socially awkward ways and childlike innocence transferred admirably onto the screen. I felt that the way it was written coupled with the the strong visuals and imagery gelled divinely together, captivating the audience. The film also has amazing music, with a lot of The Smiths, David Bowie and Crowded House as the groups love of 'old music' created a beautiful soundtrack to Charlie's story. With Stephen Chbosky directing as well as writing the book and screenplay, by watching this film you are definitely stepping into his creation and as this fast paced story of a school year plays out, each scene has something new to love. The film feels as though it has been so lovingly shot and well-thought out, all the pieces fit together to make possibly one of the best films of 2012 and a cult classic for a new generation. I would absolutely say this heart-warming coming of age film touched me and highly recommend going to see Perks, even if you haven't read the book, even if just for the way you feel when you completely relate to a film and its characters.
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Hannah Louise Grugel is a Journalism, Film and Television graduate, Netflix junkie and craft beer lover. Follow her on Twitter @hannahstardust or check out her beer quest on Instagram @littlehopbeers.

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