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Rebecca Frenkel

United States

Perks of Being a Wallflower Review: The Uplifting Story of an Outsider

January 18, 2016

The film, Perks of Being a Wallflower, directed by Stephen Chbosky, accurately depicts the lonesome and invisible presence one obtains in high school, particularly as a freshman. This film colorfully displays the tragic yet comedic sides of adolescence and shined it in many different lights. Like many, Charlie (played by Logan Lerman) viewed high school as a fresh start. On his first week he was faced with the fact that being an outsider will never get easier; shifting his views on starting over.
While not everyone may relate to the exact events of the main character Charlie’s life, each viewer will be able to find some part of themselves in this young boy. Charlie has experienced more than a typical freshman boy should have to encounter. He was molested as a child by his aunt and fails to remember until his freshman year, he falls in love with an older girl Sam who has a boyfriend whom she loves dearly, and continues to find himself being the outsider no matter where he goes. Through everything, he manages to obtain spectacular grades while simultaneously dealing with jocks who bully him continuously. In this film we are able to relate to those moments when we feel out of place, in which our excitement for new opportunities tends to decrease. Charlie makes a statement in which each viewer once again can find themselves within. When talking to Sam, he reminds her that “we accept the love we think we deserve.” Charlie’s new, yet loyal friends Sam (played by Emma Watson) and Patrick (played by Ezra Miller) reassure Charlie that he is worth an endless amount of love. The actors in the film are honest and their presence is so surreal that the film and characters are the epitome of a typical high school grouping. Charlie is a loveable and compassionate teen, followed by his friends who are honest, loyal, and encouraging. Viewers of this movie will crave friends like Charlie’s and dream of obtaining a heart like his. Unfortunately, the film does pick up a bit of an unrealistic situation where the outsider, Charlie, makes incredible friends seemingly right off the bat. Many outsiders struggle to make friends like Sam and Patrick which may detach viewers from Charlie’s situation while they formerly could see their exact reflections within him.
There wasn’t a costume, song, or scene that felt out of place or a setting that seemed out of date. The film is set in the late 1900’s, and the music selected for the movie fits the film spectacularly. All the songs included in the movie follow a soft, yet uplifting tone which follow the aura of the movie marvelously. Each character told their own story in which every viewer could relate to in their own unique ways, making it a brilliant and engaging picture.
In my favorite scene, the last scene, Charlie’s voice narrates the final letter that he is writing. During this he is filmed cruising across the well lit, Fort Pitt Tunnel in Pittsburgh joined by Sam and Patrick driving a vintage yet well kept truck. Charlie is clothed in his typical t shirt, casual jeans, and hoodie allowing the viewer to continue to recognize the Charlie introduced at the beginning of the film. The pattering sound of Pouter by Michael Brook playing in the background allows us to stay focused on Charlie's inspiring and heart wrenching words while incorporating a soft melody. In this particular scene we are able to take apart the costumes, music, lighting, and scenery to recognize the artistry that Chbosky put together while creating this film.
The movie recognizes the beauty in being an outsider or in other words, a “wallflower.” Sometimes sitting on the sidelines while seeing, hearing, and noticing everything around us can only be beneficial as it did for Charlie. This fiction movie includes adolescent romance, subtle humor, and evokes the true emotions an outsider experiences.  After viewing this film, I would most definitely recommend it. As a high schooler I encounter daily situations where I’m looking on the outside in. This welcoming and accepting film would be fitting for anyone who has once felt out of place, as it encourages all to step outside of their bubble and utilize new opportunities.

 

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