*This article contains minor spoilers*
When I think about some of my favorite movies, my mind often goes to The Perks of Being A Wallflower. When I came across this movie, it was 2020, and I was stuck at home in quarantine. I was bored and needed some meaningful entertainment. This film did much more than entertain me, and it completely changed my perspective on mental health awareness.
Based on a book by Stephen Chbosky, this movie focuses on Charlie (Logan Lerman), who is starting high school and going through his teenage years’ ups and downs. Charlie is not well-liked in his grade because of his shyness and interests, as he is most interested in reading, writing, and his discrete taste in music. His English teacher, Mr. Anderson (Paul Rudd), notices Charlie’s talents, and the two bond about their love of books. Charlie then meets a senior, Patrick (Ezra Miller), in one of his classes. Patrick invites him to go to a football game with him and his friends. This is where Charlie meets Patrick’s step sister Sam (Emma Watson). Charlie begins to hang out with that group and goes through the many ups and downs that any teenager may go through.
What is truly unique and emotional about this movie is that it shows the true colors of mental health in teenagers. It includes heavy topics of abuse, drugs, etc. Charlie is traumatized by his hazy past with his Aunt. He believes he is the reason for his Aunt’s death and his many mental breakdowns revolving around that trauma eventually lead him to a mental health hospital.
Seeing Charlie’s suffering reveals that you never know what is going on behind the scenes in someone’s life. We should always treat everyone with respect and kindness. Charlie was also forced to hide his trauma along with the secrets of those he is close to, such as his sister’s abuse in her relationship.
The climax of this movie shows the true effect of pressure and stress on teenagers, but also acknowledges the possibility of a ‘happy ending’. At the end of the film, Charlie begins to get better, hangs out with his friends, and says a line that brings tears to everyone’s eyes. In the last scene, he is with his friends Patrick and Sam riding in a car; Charlie says, “And at this moment, I swear we were infinite.”. Something about that line has so much emotion and makes the movie feel complete. This film is one everybody should watch because of its important messages and it’s beautiful cinematography. The film sticks with you throughout the stages of life because it is incredibly relatable.
(Marquee – a canopy projecting over the entrance to a theater)