The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)By Caroline Madison

“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how could that be,” says Charlie, the main character from Stephen Chbosky’s movie “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”. From the beginning, the director gives us a look inside Charlie’s head.

Seeing through the eyes of a misfit high school freshman can be a little painful for some -high school isn’t always the best time for certain folks- but getting to see through the eyes of this high school freshman is a treat.

Charlie (Logan Lerman) is a fifteen-year-old boy entering high school and has just come home from a mental hospital. Being a mental patient is not the ideal social status for someone about to enter the high school arena, and besides having to confront his mental illness, Charlie must also face other challenges like falling in love with a senior who’s leaving for college, coping with the suicide of his best friend, and the death of his favorite person in the world, his Aunt Helen.

While dealing with all the anxieties of his first day, Charlie’s first goal is to make friends. Because of his illness and his poor social skills in middle school, he has a jaded outlook on the world around him. That all changes when he meets two seniors, Patrick (Ezra Miller) and Sam (Emma Watson), who open up Charlie’s mind to the world outside of high school where people can dare to be themselves with no judgment but their own.

Throughout the film, Charlie narrates in the form of a letter to someone he addresses as “friend.” We never find out who the friend is, but with his letters to this friend, we find out Charlie’s inner thoughts and his deepest secrets. Lerman does a superb job helping the audience to feel Charlie’s grief, loss, anger, bitterness, and loneliness. It is nearly impossible not to empathize with him.

As the film progresses and we begin to learn more about Charlie and his friends, we twist and turn finding out why this illness is such a big deal and why his friends are so important to him. From beginning to end, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is filled with heartwarming scenes, tear jerking moments, life lessons, and bitter mistakes to learn from.

With a profound plot, an award-winning cast, and excellent cinematography, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” delivers. It makes all of us feel as though we are infinite.