Monday, January 20, 2014


another coming of age film. yup. but the perks of being a wallflower is definitely not your average coming of age film. it is so much more than the usual insecure youngster who embarks on his first year of high school. it is moving and despite mature and serious themes such as mental illness, drugs, alcohol and sexual abuse, it still gave me that feel-good vibe.

it daringly plunged into issues such as homophobia, depression, incest and death. what’s very good with this movie is that these issues did not feel manufactured at all. all these were interspersed with funny moments, which flowed smoothly, springing one sarcastic but happens-in-real-life lines and then moving to reflective and poignant moments. its enjoyable moments will make one reminisce and look back at happy times of your not-so-past past. while the characters are dealing with serious issues, there were no agonizing scenes to illustrate the gloomy experiences of the characters. there were only authentic scenes from its authentic characters and the filmmaker tells it upfront and somehow candidly but with strong emotions. charlie (logan lerman) was not aiming to get even with school bullies or even to be cool unlike in other coming of age movies. it’s not everyday when you have a protagonist who just wants to be just like everyone. this is the landmark of the film, thanks to the masterful handling of its director, stephen chbosky (also the author of the book) and its well written screenplay with great dialogues such as below:

Charlie: Why do nice people choose the wrong people to date?
Bill: Are we talking about anyone specific?
[Charlie nods]
Bill: We accept the love we think we deserve.
Charlie: Can we make them know they deserve more?
Bill: We can try.

Charlie: I don't know if I will have the time to write any more letters because I might be too busy trying to participate. So if this does end up being the last letter I just want you to know that I was in a bad place before I started high school and you helped me. Even if you didn't know what I was talking about or know someone who's gone through it, you made me not feel alone. Because I know there are people who say all these things don't happen. And there are people who forget what it's like to be 16 when they turn 17. I know these will all be stories someday. And our pictures will become old photographs. We'll all become somebody's mom or dad. But right now these moments are not stories. This is happening. I am here and I am looking at her. And she is so beautiful. I can see it. This one moment when you know you're not a sad story. You are alive, and you stand up and see the lights on the buildings and everything that makes you wonder. And you're listening to that song and that drive with the people you love most in this world. And in this moment I swear, we are infinite.

its awesome soundtrack and musical score completed the whole experience. the “mix tape” songs aptly provided the mood and complemented the characters’ frame of mind, aura and feelings.

i only know logan lerman as percy jackson. yes, that forgettable movie i must say because i fell asleep watching it. but what a complete turnaround the perks of being a wallflower gave him. his charlie was a charming but fragile person and he successfully embodied the character. for me, logan lerman’s true highlight was during the last 20 minutes of the film when charlie descends into depression and finally confronts the painful childhood horror he’s had. emma watson will forever be hermione for me. she still has that bookish/librarian air in her although sam is supposed to be a liberated and free spirited one. anyhow, her sam is a good start to finally break away from the iconic character. ezra miller was the clear standout. comic relief if you may but his patrick was such a great one, balancing comedy with heartwarming characterization. his professor-imitation and his confrontation with brad in the cafeteria showed how great his talent is. now, i really must see we need totalk about kevin.
the perks of being a wallflower strikes a remarkable look at the usually inescapable gawkiness of adolescence. while the movie had teenagers as central characters, it is by no means a teenybopper film. this flick wonderfully grabbed hold of the funny side, angst, energy and heartbreak that come with one’s teenage years. and because of this, it won over a lot of mature audiences such as me.

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