The Perks Of Being A Wallflower review

From the opening scene we learn the central character, Charlie (Logan Lerman), has been working through a personal issue as he writes a letter to an anonymous friend

Then he’s beginning high school and struggling to fit in, before he befriends a couple of older students and soon has a social life that involves partying with their cohort.

A memorable scene is when he first meets Sam (Emma Watson) and the camera takes Charlie’s perspective to see her face lit with a halo from the nightlights at a football game.

It’s soon clear that he is attracted to her, although part of that interest seems to stem from the kindness and compassion she offers after learning Charlie’s lost a close friend.

While this film is described as a coming of age story, it’s interesting that threshold is not crossed through the loss of virginity. 

The key plot development sees characters develop a sense of maturity through recognising the impact of trauma.

However, the film isn’t as heavy as this theme might suggest and is remarkably restrained in the way it handles the material.

Director Stephen Chbosky developed the screenplay from his own novel and the film maintains a quick pace that uses a variety of music to express character and mood, both within scenes and accompanying them.

The soundtrack is excellent and enhanced by Michael Brooks’ understated score.

I’ve watched this a couple of times now and found a lot to admire in the use of camera angles and flashback scenes to convey the internal world of the characters.

Watson’s acting carries a lot of the film, as she is required to cover a range of emotions, while accompanied by an energetic performance by Ezra Miller as her stepbrother.

There were many points where I thought I could guess the direction of the film only to be wrong, and I really enjoyed being surprised.