Director: Stephen Chbosky
Stars: Emma Watson, Nina Dobrev, Kate Walsh, Logan Lerman, Dylan McDarmott, Charlie De Ledebur, Ezra Miller.
Synopsis: An introverted freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors who welcome him into the real world.
Review: So Charlie ( Logan Lerman) is the nerdy shy guy who is in his freshman year of high School where he is bullied and disowned for being the ‘new‘ guy. He takes a chance and makes a new friend named Patrick ( Ezra Miller ) also known as ‘Nobody’. While speaking to Patrick, he meets Sam ( Emma Watson ) a girl he has a crush on. He uncomfortably tries to fit in with his new found friends but still feels an awkward vibe around them until someone gives him a plate of food. Charlie makes the mistake of eating the ‘Special Brownies’ from the FOX hit TV series ‘That 70’s Show’ which opens up his personality and helps him make even more friends. I guess the working title of this movie was ‘The Perks of Being High‘. He is now in touch with his feelings, people take to his personality very well, and even accepts him into their click by giving him the title of ‘Wallflower‘ ( Primitive human tribal talk ).
Emma Watson does an excellent job in this movie. She plays this role naturally. Her American accent is great and convincing. She is charming, persuasive, and exiting. Her character knows how to get what she wants from other characters in this movie. Logan Lerman is really impressive in this film. He knows how to play a character that seems fine on the surface, but has a hidden dark secret. I think we have all met Ezra Miller’s character in high school at least once. Top notch performance by this actor. The whole cast has a synergy that works very well on camera. They seem like friends in real life, that or they are just really great actors in front of the camera.
The film shows us group theory in action. The characters are happiest when they are together and saddest when they are apart. Charlie wishes to assimilate into his new found collective by imitating their behavior. Listening to rock music, thinking about love, cracking jokes, studying writing, going to shows with his friends, and supporting them just like they support him. The character grows from someone who is shy and introverted into someone who is extraverted an adaptable. The problem comes from Charlie hiding his real feelings and keeping them bottled up inside of him. He projects an image of everything being ‘OK’ as to not look weak in front of other people. Sadly his psychological issues will surface, its only a matter of time. As in real life the characters grow with the help of others. Every character in the group has something to offer the others in the group. In this fashion they all get through another day.
The film focuses on the sociological concepts of determinism, adaptability, and principlism. The film posits that Charlie is a reflection of the average person. Charlie the main character, represents a person’s ability to ‘fit in’ today’s society. Most people set aside their real feelings about the world they live in such as, society, politics, economics, ethics, and morality when the masses believe a certain way in order to not ‘make waves’ or cause the people in your society to turn against you. This is more of an example of adaptability. Determinism comes in the form of the main character learning how to function in high school. Celebrating the holidays with friends, learning how to date a girl, making mix tapes, lifting your friends spirits when they are down, and so on. Principlism is shown when the main character defends his friends from people who would try to harm them because of their beliefs. Regardless of a person’s ability to flow with what society tells them is right and wrong, there will always be people who decide to change the way other people think or refused to conform all together. Whether this is good or bad is another story. Some people may have a warped idea about standing up for their principles, such as a bad person thinking that a nefarious action is actually good and that society has it all wrong. Unfortunately for Charlie and Sam’s characters, they both deal with a similar issue. This brings about trust issues for both of them.
This was good. Its great to see such good acting. The cinematography is average but not bad. Some shots are filmed better than others. The camera work takes advantage of the environment that the characters live in. The films lightning is the best part of the visual experience. Sometimes you see a great two profile shot and the use of background lighting is nothing short of superb. Use of set dressing is excellent, combined with the lighting, and the great performances of the actors. This makes for an organic and very cinematic experience. The film has its own vibe. Its a great piece of art work that is rooted in the real world, focusing on real world issues of every kind. The characters are very realistic and the acting is very natural. This shows us that the movie is well cast. Its a good watch.
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