“I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I am still trying to figure out how that could be.” As I left the movie theater after seeing “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” I realized that I could not have described my feelings while watching the movie any more appropriately than its protagonist, the teenaged narrator who goes by the alias Charlie. It is one of the more beautiful films I have seen.
Fans of Stephen Chbosky’s book of the same name will be pleased to hear that there are very few alterations in the movie adaptation. Because Chbosky was the director and screenplay writer, almost all of the major plot turns and characters remain. Overall, the acting is strong. Logan Lerman does justice to Charlie’s character and Ezra Miller is phenomenal as Charlie’s friend, Patrick.
However, you do not need to have read the book in order to appreciate the film. For those who are unfamiliar with “Perks,” it focuses on the high school struggles, triumphs and relationships of a social “wallflower.” The plot can drag at times, but for the majority it soars.
Much of what makes the story so effective is its honesty about life. Almost anyone can relate to some aspect of the movie, whether it be a character or an experience. For me, this identification evoked powerful emotional responses, both cathartic and exhilarating.
If you want a movie that will make you laugh, see “Perks.” If you want a movie that will make you cry, see “Perks.” If you want a movie that will simply make you feel something, see “Perks.” And who knows? You may end up feeling infinite.
Hansler is a member of the class of 2015.