In BKReview, Movies based on Literary Works


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[heading style=”1″]THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER[/heading]

[note color=”#c5e6ad”]Director: Stephen Chbosky
Screenplay: Stephen Chbosky
Book: Stephen Chbosky
Actors: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller[/note]

As an avid reader, when books make their way to the big screen I always approach the films with some trepidation. To be honest, 99% of the time the film is not as good as the book. However I can say that Perks of a Wallflower pleasantly surprised me and lived up to my expectations. For those that haven’t read or seen it, the story focuses on a young man named Charlie and follows him through his freshmen year of high school. Charlie is a quiet young man, a bit of a wallflower if you will (wink, wink). He’s not had the easiest time, his favorite aunt passed away and his best friend committed suicide, setting off his issues with mental illness that leave him hospitalized, all of which happens before the story begins. We witness him making friends with his English teacher, Mr. Anderson and with Patrick and Sam, we see him attend his first party, we watch his first foray into dating and all the usual firsts of high school, but Charlie’s mental issues flare up from time to time. With help from his friends, he is able to manage things for a while, but as the story unfolds a dark secret is revealed that sets Charlie, his friends, and family into a tailspin.

The film stays true to the book, and in truth I didn’t see much deviation, which I really appreciated. Of course in a film, some things are impossible to translate, but the director tried to touch on every element. The book is written as a series of letters to an anonymous friend, and the beginning narration of the film is much the same. The film depicts Charlie writing those same letters throughout, which keeps the idea of the writing alive. While the explanation of the secret in the book is left to the epilogue, the film  allows it to play out and we see Charlie and his family and friends cope. It is a character driven piece and the cast really brought the story to life.

It is evident in the film that the director, book writer and screenwriter are one and the same.  Often times adapted movies lose out when they substitute fancy technology for story line, but that is not the case with Perks of Being a Wallflower at all. Through and through the film stays true to the book and hardly anything is compromised.

I thought Logan Lerman was an amazing casting choice for Charlie. I couldn’t imagine another actor playing the shy little wallflower. His performance was so endearing it left me wanting to give him a big hug by the end of it. And Emma Watson’s performance of Sam was absolutely lovely. Those that doubted she’d be able to shake the Hermione Granger away, were definitely proven wrong. She was amazing, and I can’t lie, she was my favorite character in the film and book.

I’m a pretty critical person when it comes to book movies…you should hear my rants about Harry Potter, but I don’t have any complaints about Perks of Being A Wallflower. The film and book both, left me completely happy and satisfied…and a little teary too. So both book and film get 5 popcorn boxes from me!

Perks of Being A Wallflower, proving Hollywood can make a movie as good as a book!

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