An intricate, well-directed and insightful look at the complexities of being an introvert. Exhilarating, moving and so thoroughly enjoyable. The soundtrack to this film is spot on, with music playing such a starring role in binding these guys together.

I have yet to read the novel, thus base my opinions solely on my viewing of the film. I walked in without much expectations and limited knowledge about the movie, other than that Harry Potter graduate Emma Watson was part of the cast. However, I walked out of the cinemas ... enlightened.

The movie sets out, like many movies revolving American teens and high school. We see this boy, Charlie (Logan Lerman) dreading high school because he keeps to himself and essentially, does not fit in with the 'mainstream'. He writes to his nameless friend, as a means of expression, to keep sane so to speak. Eventually, he gathers the courage to talk to Patrick (Ezra Miller), a senior who had to repeat and thus was in one of his classes. Sam (Emma Watson) comes along, and in time, they all become friends thanks to a dance, a great song and some killer dance moves. The mantra of the film is unveiled with the discovering of David Bowie's Heroes (if I recall correctly), as they drive through a tunnel and Sam stands up from the car, the wind blowing against her in what is to be the image of youth, of freedom and of happiness in the moment.

As the movie progresses, we delve into the lives and pasts, the troubles and demons of these teenagers. Sam is the girl with the reputation because she used to get drunk at parties, and dates the wrong guys. Patrick is the jokester who masks his insecurities by acting like he doesn't care about other, and keeps his homosexual relationship with the school jock a secret. Charlie is the introvert who keeps to himself, so others don't realise all the things going on in his head, to suppress his social anxiety.

The movie explores the relationships and friendships Charlie builds - with Sam and Patrick, with his family, with his Aunt and, to a lesser extent, his English teacher. Sam and Patrick are in many ways Charlie's gateway to the world, through their friendship he learns how to express himself, how to value himself and be happy (albeit temporarily, in lapses).  Flashbacks are intertwined throughout the movie, where we see Charlie as a young boy and his memories of his Aunt who went through hard times with domestic abuse and mental illness. His family, though seemingly disconnected, truly care about Charlie and want to be there for him despite not really understanding how to deal with his psychological issues or the extent of his troubles. His mutual understanding developed with his English teacher (Paul Rudd) inspires him to set his dream on becoming a writer, and fosters his love for literature; whom  I think will  remain as a pillar for him during the rest of his high school years as the others move onto college.


I'm glad I watched this with friends, because it made me realise the importance of friendship in life, and having people there for you. The friends I went to watch it with are some of my most supportive, and understanding; people who've been a shoulder for me to cry on, confide in and muck around with. None of us have had such tragic or crazy experiences, yet I'm sure we will still be able to share and be there for each other in tough times.

I feel the most enlightening aspect of this movie was how different my high school experience was, in Australia, compared to America. I do feel that high school in America, in many ways, is much more challenging and complicated than my high school experience was. I feel that there is much more cliques, hierarchy and bullying that goes on in American schools than my experience. The insight that the movie provided in regards to adolescence, social anxiety and one's identity is invaluable. I think I've truly gained some understanding into the suffocation that comes along with the haunting thoughts; the fear that comes with losing control and the confusion of having to find yourself among all the chaos. Even though this is rampant during our adolescence and high school years, I'm sure the unsettling feeling of not knowing our future plagues many beyond those years.

In regards to the cinematography and direction, I must say there are some outstanding moments, yet there are some underwhelming scenes. The editing of the sequences are interesting, though can be somewhat confusing, yet effectively builds suspense and engages throughout. I particularly love the tunnel scenes, because of how stunning and symbolically appropriate it was.

Performances wise, Emma Watson was quirky and cute as Sam yet her accent was mediocre, and her acting slightly inconsistent though she excelled in the important scenes. Logan Lerman was impeccable as Charlie, from his narration through to his scenes towards the end where he suffers a mental breakdown. Ezra Miller was delightful as Patrick, so carefree and cool yet vulnerable, I think he had it down pat. His appearance really seems in line with his character too. Paul Rudd was a nice touch, though he was overused, his appearances as the caring English teacher was somewhat heartwarming.


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