Peaceful Stoner’s review published on Letterboxd:
He is shy. He is terribly introverted. He has reserved for himself to drown in a traumatic past unable to let go off it. He thinks thrice or even more before he speaks or answers. He thinks thrice after he has spoken. He never takes centre stage. He is always the side show who gets mocked in the most inconsiderate ways. He is afraid of his future, counting the days that he has to be alone amongst a madly cheery crowd of people. He contemplates how much more of this loneliness he has to endure. For his whole life he made others happy, never once tried to make himself experience true happiness. He is beautiful, but has never allowed that beauty to shine outwards. He is intelligent but has never been able to express himself or share thoughts with anyone other than a figment of his own imagination. He is always sees the pain of the people around him, never once saw the pain continuously and relentlessly eating away his life, future and joy. He always accepted the love he thought he deserved. Charlie is a true gentleman.
He has been waiting, but not trying, to meet people with whom he could truly connect, become careless, and enjoy the warmth of companionship. His kindness brings about this turnaround. He finally gets to go through, in his journey of life, a warm tunnel filled with a select few caring people, and emerge out on the other side a new born, full of enthusiasm, appreciating life’s beauty, not confronting his painful past, let go off thinking how it would have been different, but embracing it and accepting it. He is now person who lives in the moment, for the moment and by the moment. He not only has affectionate friends but also has found the love of his life. He was until now a Wallflower. But now he is a Rosebud, who has infinite hopes and love. I love you Charlie.
This film was so endearing and the characters were totally relatable. The screenplay flows so seamlessly intertwining the monologues and the narrative beautifully that neither seemed out of place. And for once the monologues felt necessary and had an important role to play, a role which expositions the state of Charlie’s mind and his inexpressive self. Logan Lerman is just a perfect fit for the role. His twitchy eyebrows, pensive hands, the reticence shackling him from merging with the world were perfectly believable and more importantly struck a chord with me, which in turn, I think, is the most important thing which must happen in order to love this film. I cannot shower enough praise on him. I have not seen any other film of his, but he is just perfect here. Ezra Miller comes up with another excellent performance. His role here is a total, striking contrast to his in We Need to Talk About Kevin. It is incredible how he can portray such varied roles with such consummate ease at such a young age. As Patrick he lights up the screen with an incredible sense of good natured, warm fun. He is extremely open about himself, outgoing and totally approachable. This might sound a polar opposite to Charlie’s character, but he very clearly provides the perfect foil to Charlie and paves the way for him to blend into his new surroundings and friends. Emma Watson as Sam is totally adorable. She is an Angelic beauty and just shines throughout on screen. The scenes where her eyes welled up in tears were so heart tugging and touching. I have until now loved all the English teachers on screen with such passion. And Paul Rudd even though given very limited screen time, steals my heart. He is so affectionate, affable and loving. The film I felt, was just perfectly cast.
The side stories also very aptly complement the main theme and story line of the film. It is very rare (almost unheard for me) that the author of the source material, the book actually writes and directs the film. Stephen Chbosky’s affinity with the characters just shows on screen. All the stories tell the one impeccable truth of accepting the love we think we deserve. But when we realize we deserve more, make a try for it and eventually if fate and chance favour us in achieving it, then the happiness we find would be infinite.
This I thought was just another teen movie. But now I realize it is the worst way to term it. I put myself to shame for thinking of it that way. Incredibly sweet, life affirming, hopeful and lessons about love cannot get better and more youthful than this. Add to that, an amazing choice of songs and a heart touching soundtrack, you have got a near perfect film. My love for The Smiths is unbound and so will be the love I have for this film.