The Perks of Being a Wallflower (12A, 102 mins) Drama/Romance/Comedy Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Paul Rudd, Dylan McDermott, Kate Walsh, Joan Cusack Director: Stephen Chbosky Released: Wednesday October 3
The agonies and ecstasies of youth are beautifully encapsulated in writer-director Stephen Chbosky’s exquisite adaptation of his own critically adored novel.
Set in early 1990s Pittsburgh, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is a bittersweet anthem to emotionally damaged youth.
Fluffiness and mawkish sentimentality, which are staples of the genre, are absent from Chbosky’s cinematic lexicon.
Instead, he spares his characters neither blushes nor pain, venturing into some incredibly dark recesses of the human experience with sensitivity and restraint.
He accomplishes this impressive feat without sacrificing the biting humour of his book, condensing the tome into a compact running time that flies by in a blur of laughter and gut-wrenching despair.
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is a celebration of those perilous years when childhood innocence is shattered to smithereens and young men and women nervously forge new paths that will determine the rest of their lives.
Chbosky elicits strong performances from his leads.
Lerman is mesmerising as the loner who is stunned that anyone would waste their time befriending him.
Watson makes confident strides away from her signature role as Hermione in the Harry Potter series, replete with a solid American accent, and Miller banishes memories of his chilling turn in We Need To Talk About Kevin, exuding wit and charm as the class clown who attempts to rise above taunts about his sexuality.
A rousing soundtrack of David Bowie and Dexy’s Midnight Runners draws a nostalgic smile to offset the copious tears.
n Swearing, No Sex, Violence n Rating: 9/10