The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of my favourite films. While watching it the other day I realised I had never actually read the book! I found it in my room and decided to start reading it. I always think the book is better than the film, because that’s the original story with all of the little details. But, when I opened this book, I was surprised/shocked/saddened to see that I actually think the film is better!
That feels weird to even write down. But, for once, the film (for me, anyway) has outdone the original writing. It’s important to note that the original Author (Stephen Chbosky), actually directed the film too! It’s confusing to me that the author of the book, also now the director, made it to be so different from his original story in the novel (if that makes sense!).
What’s the difference?
One of the major difference’s is how the whole story is told. In the novel, we see everything through Charlie’s eyes; we read his diary entries of everything that has happened. In the film, while we see a little of this at the beginning, the rest of it is just shown like a natural narrative film.
In the book, we see Charlie as a very emotional, shy, and somewhat immature teenager starting high school, who constantly cries as he doesn’t know how to handle his emotions. Charlie get’s into a fight at school in the beginning of the book, and is quite violent; in the film, the first bit of violence we see from Charlie is in the cafeteria while sticking up for Patrick. This is quite a major change. In the book, we see straight away how Charlie is struggling with his emotions, and this helps us to understand him and the genre of the book straight away.
Now, one of the biggest points of the film; the tunnel song. In the book, Sam stands in the tunnel to Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide”, whereas in the film this is changed to “Heroes” by David Bowie. This is actually quite a major difference; “Landslide” is a lot slower, and almost tragic, whereas “Heroes” is uplifting, and encouraging. It changes the whole tone of the film. The book is a lot slower, and sad, whereas the film is uplifting, and encouraging. Very different outcomes.
So, I personally prefer the film to the book. The book to me was actually quite immature; it wasn’t as captivating as the film, the characters weren’t as loveable or likeable either. This time, I choose the film.
Have you read the book?
Have you seen the film?
What do you think?
Love B x