This week I went to the cinema to see The Perks of Being a Wallflower for the second time. I was worried I might ruin it for myself, or that I’d thought too highly of the film after the first viewing; but my anxiety was unnecessary.
I was introduced to Steven Chbosky’s book a year and a half ago. I am a big fan of The Catcher In The Rye and had been told that Perks had many of the same qualities as Salinger’s novel. It took me two evenings to read it. Chbosky gives the theme of ‘growing-up-in-high-school’ startlingly realistic treatment. The way Chbosky uses Charlie to show the struggle of the overlooked teenage minority, consistently brought me to tears. I felt like the man had known me in senior school and that he was writing about me. I felt like I was a part of something when I read it.
When I heard it was being made in to a film and that Chbosky would be writing and directing it, I had very high hopes. When I saw it for the first time, from the opening scene I knew it was going to be perfect. Chbosky had nailed the casting, the music and the script; his book was right there in all its perfection on the silver screen. I cried when it made me happy and I cried when it made me sad. Both times I have felt absolutely ‘infinite’.
Read it first. Then see it on the big screen. You will not be disappointed.