Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Review by Dom

The Perks of Being a Wallflower. This review is coming from someone who saw the film but did not read the book, so my only impressions of the story as a whole come from the movie. I had high hopes for this knowing that it was getting a lot of praise and also finding out that the author of the book wrote the screenplay and directed the film.

The story revolves around Charlie, played by Logan Lerman in his first major lead role and he does a great job. You latch onto his character and you really connect and feel for him throughout it. Charlie is an outcast who befriends his English teacher(Paul Rudd) and a senior named Patrick(Ezra Miller). Patrick is the standout character, he's likable, he's funny, he's an ass but in the best way possible. Emma Watson plays a senior girl who becomes Charlie's love interest, Sam. Like Charlie, Patrick and Sam have their fair sure of rather dark secrets. The movie chronicles Charlie's freshman year and his friends' senior year. Through Patrick and Sam he meets a few other friends and one who he dates and breaks up with in one of the funniest moments of the movie.

Seeing Emma Watson outside of the Hermione Granger character was rather refreshing as she played a high school senior all too well. Ezra Miller did a great job with the character of Patrick who needed a strong actor to play him and he knocked out of the park. Paul Rudd took a backseat role in this film as he helped Charlie and gave him books outside of class to read and was Charlie's first friend. Rudd also delivers one of the most well-known lines from the book that was definitely made for teenage girls' Facebook statuses. Rudd does a great job shifting from his normal every day funny guy to being a mentor of a character. The supporting cast does a great job too, whether they're bullying, or getting Charlie high when he doesn't know it they become a lovable group of characters.

The ending is a little odd, it seems to wrap up too fast and really makes you want more, even just an epilogue, maybe 15 more minutes of movie which would set the movie at a solid 2 hours, which isn't long, especially when you're immersed in the story. The great thing about this movie is that it makes you think of your high school days and think: "Did I have a mentor-like teacher?", or that one person that you fell in love with the moment you saw them, or that one friend that may have saved your life, and hopefully these are all good memories.

This was a very enjoyable movie, it went in directions that I didn't expect and had much darker tones than I had expected. While it was good there are definitely some flaws. The thing that irked me throughout the entire movie was Emma Watson, she's a good actress don't get me wrong, but her American accent was just not good, I could hear British accents coming out. What's worse is that there was a clear way to let her use her accent, there's a point where they're talking and one of the characters talks about her moving, all they had to say was "She moved here from England" and she can use her natural accent. Secondly the movie (Mild Spoiler Alert) has a relatively happy ending yet it leaves a sad feeling with you and for me at least, this feeling did not go away for a while. Thirdly, the high school bullies are so incredibly cookie-cutter and unreal. This is one of those films where you look back at your high school years and think "Yeah, that never happened, ever." but they usual staples are there, you know the tripping in the cafeteria, things like that. Besides those 3 things, the movie is pretty solid.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by Perks, it has depth, a lovable core group of characters, good actors to portray them and an intriguing story. While there are some flaws within the film it doesn't detract too much from the film or the story.

Rating: 8/10

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