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Well, for one thing, it's the coolest high school newspaper in all the land. Watch our video and find out more.
Just about everyone knows someone who has been bullied, in ways big and small. Understandably, though, many victims are reluctant to speak about their experiences. We found some who aren't.
BY ELLEN PHAM, Chamberlain High
Grade: ****, 4/5 asterisks
Movie adaptations of books often fail because the story gets hidden under layers of weak acting and flamboyant camera tricks, but Stephen Chbosky, author of the widely popular book The Perks of Being a Wallflower, refused to let that happen to his novel. As the director, Chbosky ensures the most essential elements are captured perfectly on screen.
Charlie (Logan Lerman) is a freshman whose year starts off bleakly, as he is routinely bullied and relegated to sitting alone during lunch, until he befriends Patrick (Ezra Miller), an outgoing, brash-talking senior. Patrick introduces Charlie to his eccentric group of friends, including Sam (Emma Watson) and Mary Elizabeth (Mae Whitman).
Charlie’s newfound friends influence him in various ways: Charlie becomes fascinated with Sam and learns an important relationship lesson from Mary Elizabeth, and Patrick teaches him never to judge solely based on appearances.
Wallflower delves into the realms of love, drugs, betrayal and sexuality. Charlie frequently writes letters full of his inner thoughts to an anonymous person, which provides a provoking stream of consciousness and welcomes sympathy as Charlie maneuvers himself through the challenges of adolescence.
Chbosky tries his best to intertwine the stories of the main characters into one cohesive plot but falls short since the rich complexity of the characters and their past can’t possibly be depicted in less than two hours. Still, the gaps in the development of the characters leave lingering questions for moviegoers who haven’t read the novel.
The cast is wonderful. Lerman plays the troubled, reserved Charlie extremely well, accurately portraying a textbook naive and awkward freshman. Miller’s performance is a pleasant surprise; he delivers some of the most memorable lines with charisma. He exudes the confidence necessary to play Patrick but also succeeds in showing his vulnerability during sentimental scenes.
Time to relinquish any doubts about whether Emma Watson would be able to maintain a stable acting career after wrapping up the beloved Harry Potter series. Watson brings authenticity to Sam. It’s intriguing to watch how she handles the insecurities of being a teenage girl while also embracing the freedom of Sam’s youth.
This coming-of-age film is deeper than the majority of movies in its genre. A handful of scenes are beautifully crafted and really tug at your emotions, particularly a scene that involves a car, a tunnel, nostalgic music and three teenagers, magically relatable to your own high school years.
Chbosky takes his literary work to the screen, balancing the social and intense emotional aspects of high school and redefining what it means to be infinite.