The Book/Film written and directed by Stephen Chbosky is a coming-of-age drama which talks about the depths of depression, and anxiety which a titular "Wallflower" named Charlie goes through.
Both the book and film are narrated by Charlie himself in the form of letters which he writes to a stranger before starting high school, and how he gets through.
Those who know me pretty well, would know that I am a huge bookworm.
Sitting in a quiet corner and reading to my hearts content is one of my most favorite things to do.
"The Perks of Being a Wallflower" is one of my most favorite books.
I recently got the chance to watch the film and I have to tell you that after watching it I felt totally opposite to the hesitation I had before watching the film as I was scared that the variations might be too much to take in. (Hence I try to avoid watching the film before the books or vise versa)
Long story short, I fell in love. With the film, the characters, the actors, and everything about it.
If a book is made into a film, I get a little skeptical. Mostly because when you read a book that has an intense story, then you tend to imagine the scenarios, and people in the book. Sometimes, films don't match up to that, and that's how a lot of people like me get disappointed.
This film, on the other hand, isn't like those films at all.
Why? Read on to find out!
WARNING- Major Spoiler Alert!
"The Perks of Being a Wallflower", tells the story of a teenager named Charlie, who talks and writes about his experiences through his first year in high school. Depicting his depression and anxiety issues because of a rough past, and his journey through life as he makes new friends at school.
At first, he finds difficulty in finding friends, but finds solace in his English teacher Mr. Anderson. He starts receiving books from him to read, and is even encouraged to be a writer.
He then meets Patrick, and Sam who are step-siblings and are seniors ready to graduate in the next summer.
Charlie journeys through various emotions and incidents that affect his life, both in a good way and bad with his new friends. The rest of the story is how he learns life's greatest lessons, and how to overcome his depression and anxiety.
So, why did I choose to fall in love with this film? Here are some quotes from both the book and film, that are mainly the reason why I did, and why I chose to let this film inspire me.
1. "I am very interested and fascinated how everyone loves each other, but no one really likes each other."
This particular quote caught my attention more than anything else in the film.
Why? Well, probably because most of the time, it is 100% true.
I've seen people who pretended to be "a good friend", inseparable from me, and ended up being people I hardly recognized despite of the assumption of knowing them.
You never know. This film taught me that there will be a lot of people who come into your life, but very few, or none of them will end up being the ones you can count on at the end of the day.
Regardless of either situations, life will go on, and you should make that worthwhile even if you're alone.
2. "So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we'll never know most of them. But even if we don't have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there."
We depict ourselves and design ourselves based many factors like our past, present, and predictions about what our future will be like.
Some reasons could just be unknown, and we just choose to be who we are today despite of that.
They say, it is not your fault if you're born in poverty, but it is yourself to blame if you die in poverty.
We choose what to do with our life, so everything is in our hands. Every step we take, every decision we make affects us, the people around us and our future. We just need to realize that, and strive for the best in life, rather than procrastinating, or being pessimistic about it.
Don't you agree?
3. "Things change. And friends leave. And life doesn't stop for anybody."
It's hard to accept this fact.
Life is like an ocean, and not every part of the ocean is constant. There are still-water areas that are calm, there are storms, and it changes endlessly as you travel through it.
People who come into your life as family, friends or anyone else, are not permanent residents.
Sure, they will make a ton of memories with you, and you'll probably grow fond of them. But, circumstances may cause you to grow apart, or stay apart.
At that point of time, you should just cherish the memories you had with them, and let life go on with or without them. Sure, you'll miss them and life will seem incomplete at first.
That doesn't stop life from going about on its course though does it?
When I got married and went to Europe, there were times when I couldn't make time to constantly stay in touch with every single individual I used to stay in touch with before.
I even had times where I hardly spoke with people who were extremely close to me. That doesn't mean that I don't care about them does it?
Some people I know, have faced the same situation from the other perspective, and couldn't handle it. I don't want to be rude, but it just gets tiring to constantly tail them and try to make them understand when they clearly won't.
Stop blaming people for "going away", or blaming them to be the reason for your sadness, or mistakes you commit afterwards.
Everything is in your control. Just because life has gotten busy for others, doesn't mean they hate you or conspire against you.
At first, when Charlie is left alone after his friends go to college, he battles a series of emotions and breakdowns. He then starts to accept how life really can be, and cherishes the memories which they make, rather than focusing on the aftermath.
4. "Sam: Why do I and everyone I love pick people who treat us like we're nothing?
Charlie: We accept the love we think we deserve"
Now this is a big one.
I've seen people go into relationships because they feel that they aren't worthy of love, or just don't believe that someone good looking could accept them to be in a relationship with.
They take all sorts of nonsense, face all sorts of things that affect them physically, and psychologically, and still stay with people who aren't even worth being around.
I've seen a friend give all of what they have to invest into a relationship. They changed themselves, and let go of a lot of things that gave their life meaning. In the end, the person left them in pain, and let them suffer without even looking back. It's none of my business to explain why, but didn't their effort go to vain?
Now, you tell me.
Why do we accept love that we think we deserve?
Why not love that is incredible, and beautiful, or the complete package?
Don't we all deserve to be happy, to be respected, trusted, honored, and cherished?
If you don't think you deserve any of those things, ask yourself why. I bet you'll change your thoughts if you think clearly about it.
You blame your past? Well, that phase is over, what about you right now?
Blame your present? Nothing is constant, you'll still be the human that exists beneath all of that flesh.
Scared about the future? Come on! Nobody knows what happens in your future. You write your own destiny, why not start writing it now?!
Everyone is beautiful.
Everyone is smart in their own way. Every person who breathes, and thinks, are worthy of a great and beautiful love.
Depression and anxiety are not disorders. They are a disease and they affect people very strongly. It should be taken very seriously, no matter how small it may seem.
The only prevention is love, positivity, and affection.
When it comes to the Abuse part, a lot of people think it's just an incident, why do victims hold on to that memory when it isn't necessary?
Well, be it a boy or girl, abuse is not a joke or just an incident to just brush off your shoulders and go on with life.
It impacts a person very deeply, regardless of how small or big the incident may be. It can be traumatizing, and can diminish one's self.
This film depicts that so well, and shows that the only way for someone to get past all of it, is to surround them with positivity, and hope that life does get better.
I believe this film reflects most of what we all go through. Loss, pain, the good feeling you get when you finally have a friend in a new place, and many other things. That is the reason why I fell in love with it.
Especially this scene:
"It's much easier to not know things sometimes. Things change and friends leave. And life doesn't stop for anybody. I wanted to laugh. Or maybe get mad. Or maybe shrug at how strange everybody was, especially me. I think the idea is that every person has to live for his or her own life and than make the choice to share it with other people. You can't just sit their and put everybody's lives ahead of yours and think that counts as love. You just can't. You have to do things. I'm going to do what I want to do. I'm going to be who I really am. And I'm going to figure out what that is. And we could all sit around and wonder and feel bad about each other and blame a lot of people for what they did or didn't do or what they didn't know. I don't know. I guess there could always be someone to blame. It's just different. Maybe it's good to put things in perspective, but sometimes, I think that the only perspective is to really be there. Because it's okay to feel things. I was really there. And that was enough to make me feel infinite. I feel infinite."
I found those lines to be beautiful. In fact they changed my perspective in a lot of things.
If you've started to love the book/film from this article, then I'm pretty sure you'll love it even more when you watch/read it!
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! or DM me on my Instagram handle.
Picture Credits: GOOGLE
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