The Perks of Being a Wallflower Blu-ray Review
Seeing the pages of Stephen Chbosky’s novel THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER come to life in the film adaptation of the same name, I let out a sigh of relief. Fully understanding that books and film are two different mediums, it delights me to no end when the movie manages to capture the spirit of the novel. The filmmakers did an excellent job translating the written word to live action allowing me the opportunity to praise and recommend both the book and the movie. But… since the author of the novel is also the flick’s scribe and director… I shouldn’t be too surprised about this.
In THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER, we follow Charlie, an unsure, nervous teen starting his freshman year of high school as an outsider. Befriending a misfit step-sibling duo, Sam (Emma Watson) and Patrick (Ezra Miller), Charlie (Logan Lerman) discovers a place where his shy nature is accepted and appreciated. Throughout the school year we experience the high school angst Charlie and the rest of his new group of friends endure. From awkward (yet funny) dating moments and ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW reenactments to more serious issues, the year we spend with Charlie is poignant. Set in the early 1990’s it was fun seeing the throwback fashion, and I loved the making of mixed tapes (while searching for a specific song without widespread use of the internet). In fact, the entire soundtrack in this film is quite fitting featuring David Bowie, The Smiths, The Samples, and Sonic Youth to name a few tunes.
Creating the thoughtful and introverted character, Logan Lerman’s take on Charlie was well done. This was my first impression of Lerman as I have not seen his other works. I appreciated the subtleness used as his character sheds his nervous nature and becomes more comfortable with his new friends. Ezra Miller’s Patrick was such a fantastic departure from the disturbed teen he played in WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN. I was wary of Miller being able to portray the right amount of charisma and sass that Patrick required. However, the minute we see Patrick mimicking the shop teacher, I am sold and want more.
Whenever I see Emma Watson’s name, immediately I think of Hermione Granger from the HARRY POTTER franchise. While this franchise will always be a big part of Miss Watson’s career, I guarantee she will have many more roles that will continue to separate her from her start in show business. Dropping the English accent, she embodies a completely different character than bookish Hermione in Sam.
The supporting cast is excellent, each lending performances that keep the story moving forward. Having Paul Rudd cast as English teacher, Mr. Anderson, was a perfect choice. Though we do not see much of Rudd in this flick, the few moments he is on screen are great. Mae Whitman (from televisions Parenthood) is awesome as the bossy, opinionated Mary Elizabeth.
Despite all the accolades I have thrown at THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER, this film is not for everyone. With the darker subject lines following these high schoolers, I will be selective with who I recommend watch this picture.
Audio (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1): The audio is excellent for this dialogue driven flick.
Video (1.78:1): The subdued colors are perfect for this tale of high school struggles.
Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Stephen Chbosky: Chbosky uses this platform to share stories and highlight areas inspired directly from his life in Pittsburgh.
Audio Commentary with Stephen Chbosky, Logan Lerman, Ezra Miller, Emma Watson, Mae Whitman, Johnny Simmons, and Erin Wilhelm: You get a great feel for the friendships established between these actors as they share inside stories, laughs and poke fun at one another.
Best Summer Ever (5:00): Director Chbosky and the cast reflect on the summer they filmed this picture together.
Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Writer/Director Stephen Chbosky (23:11): 12 deleted or alternate scenes that could have added a bit to the film (giving viewers who are not familiar with the story/book a chance to learn more about the issues Charlie is facing).
Dailies with Optional Commentary by Writer/Director Stephen Chbosky (7:04): I found this featurette to be quite interesting. Three dailies, one without sound. The one without sound might be my most favorite; it was very poetic.