Thursday, 20 December 2012

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, dir/scr. Stephen Chbosky, st. Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller

With its warm colour palette and choice cuts of 90s alternative music, there's something very familiarly nostalgic about Chbosky's film, based on his own novel. The style too, an amalgamation of coming-of-age tribulation, high-school navigational woe and quelling of demons past is likewise, nothing terribly new, but handled with sensitivity and convincing performances from the three leads. Watson largely proves that she's got the chops for fleshier roles, now that the spectre of Hogwarts has begun to fade from view, and shows off a credible American twang to boot. Lerman too, as Charlie - the titular wallflower - (last seen in Percy Jackson And The Lightning Thief) cruises along with a quietly low-key performance until the film's third act plot development allows for some impressive flexing, but it's Ezra Miller, who gave Damien Thorn a run for his money in Lynne Ramsay's We Need To Talk About Kevin, who gives the triumvirate of friends its beating heart as the "gay as a three-dollar bill" Patrick. Some of the dialogue does occasionally slip from the meaningfully evocative voice-over patter we've come to love from these sorts of films, to merely cringe-worthy and over-yearning facsimiles of better written screenplays, but where The Perks Of Being A Wallflower succeeds is in its ability to tell an old-fashioned story of adolescence in a way that still persuades and provokes.