I feel that it is rare that we get to experience a coming of age story that we can empathize with and really touch our lives in a positive way. In a lot of ways, this is not just the story of Charlie, but also you, me, and the people around us. Haven't we all, even at one point in our lives, felt like we were outcasts and just wanted to find some place that we can say we belong?
Charlie never stood out. He was just that guy who sat by himself and observes people from the outside-- but that was before he met Patrick and Sam, the two best friends anyone could ever hope for. They're a wacky and fun-loving lot, and thanks to them, Charlie in his first ever year in highschool got to a taste of what's it like to 'participate' and experience the time of his life.
The Book and The Movie
I was fortunate enough to have been able to read the book before watching the movie, but I have to say that it wouldn't have mattered very much-- it was such a good adaptation and all the key elements were seamlessly translated into the big screen.
I think it made all the difference that The Perks of Being a Wallflower author Stephen Chbosky also wrote the screenplay and directed the movie. It is the closest way for moviegoers to experience the film as how Stephen originally pictured it in his head, and boy was he able to make the book come to life. I was able to watch an interview of Stephen where he said that this was actually his lifelong dream. I'm really glad he was able to achieve it after so many years, he seems like a genuinely good person from the way he writes and speaks.
One of the many other reasons why this turned out to be such a good film is that casting, definitely. Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller-- couldn't have asked for a better set of lead characters. It's such a thrill to see Charlie, Sam, and Patrick to come alive in the best way. You just can't help but fall in love with the characters even more.
Logan Lerman really embodied Charlie as he's a lot like the character he played. He's comfortable being isolated and can be quite special like Charlie with his many talents.
Emma Watson was really charming here and you could understand why Charlie would simply fall for her. I think Emma is just genuinely nice and fun-loving, so she was able to easily project this to her character as Sam. And I think it was refreshing to hear her speak without a British accent.
Ezra Miller, wow, where do I start with this guy? He's just so out there and unafraid of how people see him. He does things for the heck of it, for the craft, the love for what he is doing. You can tell from his interviews that there's just so many layers in him, and he doesn't try to sound sophisticated, he just does. And I just have to point out, people, that he's not gay. But on the other hand, I don't think he'd have a problem with bisexuality. I'd actually really like to be able to meet him one day, he sounds really fun to be around with. And, you know, he's pretty hot. A friend of mine who's a guy actually said that Patrick can be a guy he could actually go gay for ;)
Now, the people behind The Perks of Being a Wallflower actually painstakingly did their best (listening to music after music) to find the right song for the right moments. The movie simply won't be the same without the soundtrack. I really like the story behind the 'Tunnel Song', but I have to say my favorite song from the film is 'It's Time' by Imagine Dragons.
Quotes and Lessons
Finally, I think what set the book apart was that it had a lot of these little snippets of seemingly innocent thoughts, little quotes that hits you right there. They're relatable and well thought of, and you can actually apply it to your life right now. From the way you live, to how you interact with people in your day to day life.
It's ultimately a story that advocates love and acceptance. We are reminded that there are people who will accept us for who we are.
From My Experience
It was nice to have watched this film with my friends from highschool. Though that time seems eons ago, watching this film made me reminisce.
As I see my friends laughing with me now, I am reminded of how we've also been through a lot in highschool ourselves, and how every little thing back then seemed like the end of the world. Some have already forgotten what it's like, and think that younger people put so much importance on such trivial matters. But actually, your feelings are yours, and you shouldn't belittle them just because other people think they're a little problem.
Those seemingly insignificant details put together actually made us who we are right now. And each of us can look back and know, that each of us has a story to tell.
So how did you find The Perks of Being a Wallflower? Isn't it just everything you thought it would be and more?