When I heard that Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower was being transformed into a movie, I was excited. When I found out that Chbosky was also the director, the producer and the writer of the screenplay, I was practically peeing my pants from anticipation.
With such high expectations, it might seem like the movie could only disappoint, and admittedly, there are a few things that get in the way of fully enjoying the film.
First of all, while Emma Watson is certainly talented, she is nothing like the Sam depicted by the book, and her noble effort at an American accent seems to hinder her full development of the character.
It is difficult to isolate Watson as anything other than the iconic Hermione Granger, and many times one cannot help but wonder, “Where’s Ron and Harry?”
The film does not seem to be fully complete without the poem “Absolutely Nothing” by Osoanon Nimuss, which is read at the scene of one of the crew’s parties. While this has pretty much nothing to do with the plot, it has immense importance in the original novel.
Now don’t get me wrong; this does not at all mean that the movie isn’t quality. However, with such an intense love for the book, I could have watched a picture of Logan Lerman’s face for two hours and walked away thinking it was great.
But Logan Lerman proves to have more than an adorable disposition, and he totally works as Charlie, adding new dimensions to the character and portraying him in a way that is somewhat unexpected.
Ezra Miller also delivers an impressive performance as Patrick, and it is apparent from his first appearance that he brings the necessary humor, depth and understanding to the role.
Miller is definitely one of the strongest actors in the cast, and he makes it clear to audiences that Patrick is so much more than the classic jokester—so much more than comic relief.
From a writing and directorial standpoint, as well, Perks is stunning. Chbosky worked hard to retain several important aspects from the book, while still excluding certain aspects in order to save time.
Something notable, and widely appreciated, is that the characters never mention explicitly the molestation of Charlie by his Aunt Helen; it is merely implied—a subtle, meaningful, important undertone.
The entire plot resembles the book so much that true Perks fans will no doubt be pleased, and other potential Chbosky admirers are likely inspired to read and enjoy The Perks of Being a Wallflower fully.