The Perks of Being a Wallflower [Blu-Ray] Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower [Blu-Ray] Stephen Chbosky
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In what many have described as the best coming-of-age film since The Breakfast Club, director Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower (based on Chbosky's critically acclaimed novel of the same name) is easily relatable, quirky, sad and thought provoking. When Charlie (Logan Lerman) starts out as a freshman in high school, he's an outsider (a wallflower), which comes with its challenges, until he's taken under the wing of free-spirited high school seniors Sam (Emma Watson) and her stepbrother, Patrick (Ezra Miller). The film follows Charlie as he navigates the battlefield of maintaining new friendships, learning social graces, establishing teenage loyalties and coping with vulnerability, while also tackling some of the heavier issues Charlie had to deal with prior to entering high school — there's an underlying psychological issue afoot linking the suicide of his favourite aunt to the suicide of his best friend. While the story is easily accessible and many of the themes are prevalent in modern day teen lives, what easily sets Perks ahead of other teen dramas is the incredible cast. Lerman is obviously "prettier" than most teen boys his age, which makes his role as an outsider debatable, but he encapsulates teenage vulnerability astutely, capturing the awkwardness of teen life well. Watson and Miller were the ideal candidates for their respective parts, with both playing the role of confident weirdoes that challenge the status quo and don't care about the repercussions. The three have a vividly realistic friendship in the film, to the extent that it's difficult to believe they didn't know each other before signing on for Perks. However, while Chbosky did a good job adapting his book to the cinematic format, a director not so closely linked with the content would have better served the film. A fresh perspective and slightly more vision, and the resultant consistency in tone, would have turned this solid film into something great. Included within the Blu-Ray supplemental materials are a host of commentaries from Chbosky and the cast, as well as a featurette entitled "Best Summer Ever," which goes behind the scenes with the cast to showcase the relationships forged over the course of the production. Arguably the best supplement included, the deleted scenes manage to provide additional insight into some of the themes addressed. A few of them should have been left in, as they're truer to the original novel. (eOne)