Review: ‘The Perks Of Being A Wallflower’ (M) *** and a half

STEPHEN Chbosky’s feature film directorial debut is a rather charming and mature semi-autobiographical observation of a young man’s voyage on the sea of late adolescence, for which he developed his 1999 novel into a screenplay.

The film delivers a well-rounded assembly of, in no particular order, credibility, perceptiveness, identity, realities of the inescapable waypoints of adolescence, especially sexuality and drugs, mental unwellness and the blows sustained from emotional injuries.

That collection may sound like a heavy burden for the filmgoer. `Tain’t necessarily so. High-school freshman Charlie (Logan Lerman) doesn’t fit the standard mould. He likes to read. He’s no athletic hero. He understands that he is on a learning curve that will be as steep as his hopes will permit. For much of his first weeks, he’s a loner. Slowly, a group of older kids from that year’s graduating class finds him companionable. He’s not pushing his luck, but neither is he rejecting it.

Straight adolescent boys have to learn to deal with one dominant issue. Charlie makes friends with Patrick (Ezra Miller) whose step-sister Sam (Emma Watson de-prettified for the role, but delectable) is determined to get accepted at the university of her choice. The three develop into a coalition that must deal with some uncomfortable issues. Patrick is wrestling with his sexuality. Charlie is unable to make the inevitable move on Sam.

The film makes no unreasonable demands on our readiness to find it good. It avoids cliché or condescension and resolves its most demanding issue in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment.

At all cinemas


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