‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’: The Rich Tapestry of Growing Up

For most of us, the best parts of our lives are possibly behind us. Unless, you had a terribly bad growing up teen years, it’s difficult to imagine that anything ahead of us is going to be as exciting as the years left behind in school. Money, responsibilities and ambition probably comes at the cost of living life in the moment (and not ahead or behind it).‘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 — and was not judged for its consequences. It is also about those years of innocence when you looked at life with a prism of optimism and hope. The biggest achievement of the film, though, is how beautifully it captures the rich tapestry of growing up experiences soaked in lessons learnt for lifetime.

‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ is a coming-of-age tale of an introvert teen, Charlie, who enters high school as freshman and finds difficult to intermingle until he is befriended by two seniors, Sam & 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 what’s the meaning of true friendship and ultimately, also learns to deal with his horrific past.

But having said all of this, Perks of Being Wallflower is also about few other pertinent issues. Prime among them is the simmering & slithering dislike towards homosexuals and pervasive but cloaked child molestation. Not to be mistaken that any of these add heavy-handedness to the movie; if anything it only raises the level of story-telling 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. Soundtrack is fresh as it needs to be. The three leads are exceptional specially 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 the vulnerabilities, anxieties and joys of Charlie with amazing charm and confidence.

The best aspect of ‘The Perks of Being Wallflower’ is that in spite of the fact that the things shown in the film were quite diverse from my own 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 may be a drop or two of tears in your eyes. ‘The Perks of Being Wallflower’ is one of them.