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Movie Review: The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

by Sabrina Michelena

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is a romantic drama film from 2012, based on the novel by Stephen Chbosky. Starring Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, and Ezra Miller, the movie delves into the mind of a socially anxious high school freshman named Charlie. Charlie, portrayed by Logan Lerman, who has recently been discharged from a psychiatric hospital, is uneasy about starting high school. At first, he finds himself having difficulty making friends but connects with his English teacher, Mr. Anderson. He soon meets Patrick, played by Ezra Miller, and Sam, played by Emma Watson, at a football game and they connect over their love of music and establish a friendship.

They establish a friend group, majorly consisting of artsy outcasts in school. However, all of Charlie’s friends are all seniors and graduate at the end of the movie, while Charlie still has three years of high school ahead of him. Throughout the movie, there are flashbacks of Charlie’s youth, usually involving his now-deceased aunt, Helen. The viewer wonders the significance of Aunt Helen and why she is being represented so often in flashbacks. However, it is not until the ending, when Charlie has a mental breakdown, in which the viewer realizes that Charlie’s deep, dark secret from his childhood and the reasoning behind his admittance to the psychiatric hospital.

The movie is a great representation of a shy, awkward teenager. It enters Charlie’s mind and the viewer sympathizes with his painful shyness and his hesitancy to engage in conversation with his peers. The viewer starts to love Charlie, internally praising him when he accomplishes something, or becoming upset when something doesn’t go his way. The ending is heartbreaking, in which the reasoning behind his mental illnesses are revealed. It causes the viewer to feel protective of Charlie and saddened for him. The movie, in general, does a fantastic portrayal of mental illness in teenagers and how it affects their everyday life. Perks Of Being A Wallflower is sweet, romantic, tear-jerking, and funny. It’s a wonderful adaptation of the novel with brilliant casting and interesting, well-developed characters. It’s a movie meant to be shown to everyone.

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