Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a Beautifully Layered Coming-of-Age Film

For most, the teenage years are the most exciting years of their lives. The sheer joy of living in the moment without worrying about responsibilities is unmatchable with any other period of our life. ‘The Perks of Being Wallflower’ is a beautiful reminder to all those bygone years of adolescence when every tiniest moment was lived to the fullest without being judged for its consequences. The film’s biggest achievement is how beautifully it captures the rich tapestry of teenage experiences soaked in lessons learned for a lifetime.

‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ is a coming-of-age tale of an introverted teen, Charlie, who enters high school as a freshman and finds it difficult to intermingle until he is befriended by two seniors, Sam and Patrick. A friendship that teaches him to be comfortable in his own skin and explore the new dynamism of relationships. During all of this, he experiences what it is to be love, understands the meaning of true friendship, and ultimately learns to deal with his horrific past.

On the surface, ‘The Perks of Being Wallflower’ might be mistaken as just another teen movie, but it is essential to emphasize how adroitly it also handles issues of teenage angst, homosexuality, and child molestation. Yes, those are heavy issues to deal with in a film about teenagers, but they are so seamlessly merged with the story that they raise the story-telling level and add layers to its narrative. 

Technically too, the film is nothing short of brilliant. Cinematography is top-notch with rich colors and great use of lights. The soundtrack is fresh as it needs to be. The three leads are exceptional, especially Erza Miller as Patrick. His mere presence lights up the scenes. Emma Watson proves that she has much to offer beyond the ricketiness of Harry Potter. Logan Lerman portrays Charlie’s vulnerabilities, anxieties, and joys with amazing charm and confidence.

The best aspect of ‘The Perks of Being Wallflower’ is that even though the experiences shown in the film were quite diverse from my upbringing — for obvious reasons of cultural dissimilarities — I never felt like a stranger watching Perks of Being Wallflower; there’s a strange sense of familiarity with people, events, and the surroundings shown in the film.

There are very few films made nowadays that have the power to take you back through time and leave you with nothing but pleasant, feel-good memories and maybe a drop or two of tears in your eyes. ‘The Perks of Being Wallflower’ is one of them.

Rating: 4.5/5