ABebout – Blog 5

 

The Perks of Being a Wallflower has powerful, evocative first-person narrative from a young teenager named Charlie. In the beginning scenes, the audience discovers that Charlie has an unnamed pen pal, whom he writes to about his life. The audience is exposed to the main storyline and the background of Charlie’s past through a voice over, which is assumed to be Charlie’s, reading the letters. This narration is used as a device to expose the deep internal struggles that Charlie is undergoing, and help the audience view him as a realistic, connectable character.

In the book, readers are given information about Charlie only through the letters to his pen pal. There is no descriptive narration of Charlie’s actions and how he responds to certain situation in the book. The movie does an excellent job of depicting Charlie’s emotions, given the nature of the media, and his behavior to conflicts in the book. An example of this in both the movie and in the book is when Charlie comes to his friend’s rescue. Patrick, Charlie’s gay friend, ends up fighting his ex-boyfriend, Brad, after Brad makes a homophobic comment to Patrick. In the book, Charlie blacked out when he was fighting against Brad and other football players, so the audience isn’t given much information to what happened. However, in the movie, the audience is shown at least the before and after events of the fight – even though they still don’t see the actual fight scene.

Charlie’s struggle with depression, abuse, and the death of his best friend is more evidently shown in the movie as well. Visually, the audience is able to see the slow progression of Charlie falling into depression. They are able to see the source of the depression, which is the abuse he experienced as a smaller child. The most beautiful aspect of the movie though is Charlie’s recovery from his ultimate downfall in the movie. He is depicted as an underdog hero because he has had to overcome so many boundaries – the death of his best friend, depression, and the abuse he endured as a child. Seeing him overcome these struggles only makes the audience connect with him and cheer him on when he finally reaches a better place. He is the hero that is not untouchable, but relatable.

Link of fight scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjvzEhVbYm8.

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