By Solenne Wachsman
At long last, The Perks of Being a Wallflower has been released in theaters, and starting today will be released in all movies nationwide. Based on the critically acclaimed book by Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower was originally published in 1999. The story follows Charlie, a freshman growing up in a Pittsburgh suburb, and how he grows and matures as he makes friends and new experiences. But what makes the book so unique is that it is written entirely in a series of letters by Charlie to an anonymous friend. Through these letters, readers get a first-hand, and at times relatable, look into Charlie’s emotions and gives his anecdotes a new meaning.
Released in selected theaters on September 21, the cast of The Perks of Being a Wallflower included Logan Lerman as Charlie, and Emma Watson and Ezra Miller portrayed Charlie’s best friends, Sam and Patrick respectively.
Overall, I thought that the movie was a befitting adaptation. Although a lot of the plot differed from that in the book, I found it comforting to know that Stephen Chbosky was the director, which reassured me that he himself found the movie artistically, and in return emotionally, true to what he envisioned. The one caveat for me was Emma Watson’s acting, while I love her in Harry Potter, I feel that she did not portray the part of Sam, one of Charlie’s friends, the way many people imagined her to be. Aside from insignificant things such as her appearance, her acting seemed to be somewhat stunted, some of the lines that should have been more spontaneous came out as forced and stiff. On the other hand, Logan Lerman as Charlie was perfectly casted; he executed both the emotional complexity and physical characteristics that people imagined as an integral part of the novel. He brought Charlie to life as a real person.
Regardless of the reviews that the movie receives, I still will perceive it as an extremely commendable film. As The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of my favorite books, I, like many others, was excited to see it be brought to life. However, no matter what, the original story was perfect as a novel. I loved being able to see a visual representation of what I had read, but The Perks of Being a Wallflower creates such a distinct impression on its own, that is not easily shaken. Nonetheless, I would recommend this movie to both fans of the novel as well as to people who have had no prior knowledge of it, as it’s an extremely poignant, meaningful, and entertaining film.