Monday, May 27, 2013

Subconscious Film - The Perks of Being A Wallflower (2012)

A Story Of A Boy Every Young Artist Wants To Be Or Already Thinks They Are Like

These essays are specifically for reading after ones personal viewing.

There's this feeling I get when a moment of warmth and manipulation happens in a film cliche. As tears swell in my eyes and I fight back the tears that come with my natural sensitive manner, I want to smash the screen. Those perfect moments, in the perfect kiss, with the perfect person and for the humble loner who deserves so much. I've trained myself to recognize my sensitive habits so I can see things from an unbiased, observant eye. Maybe sometimes I wish I hadn't, because where most people are filled with warmth and wade inside it, I scream for imperfection and honesty. Maddened after my viewing, I carry this weight with me and rant inside myself, questioning what is and why it is wrong. 

If a film is fictional then why do I have to analyze its dishonesty when it deserves to be anything but. Why does it frustrate me. Because through the fictionalization, it's also perpetuating similar experience and familiar surroundings within its narrative to relate to each viewers same life experience. In Wallflower's case: High School. And through this relation of atmosphere, turns on its ostensibility, and makes us crave this dramatization of perfectly structured (yes, even through its hardships) world we'll never experience. And of course through a manipulative score as well, coating this visual with musicalities which mean nothing more than what we've already seen on screen: music having if not the most emotional pull on people of all the arts.  I feel cornered, and I want to hit things, and throw this feeling off from me, cursing it and crying to it. 

We start with a deconstruction of this boy, Charlie, played by Logan Lerman. It's not his fault, he was written this way. His perfection: he is an artist, has the talent, is a loner, with a troubled past, insecure but always humble, liked by his teachers, and is secretly a badass and able to beat people up if they hurt his friends. There have been others like him: Donnie Darko, loner artist who teachers talk about when he's not around. A martyr. Has problems which are sympathized by the obvious female crush. Every dark boy from my high school in the mid 2000s wished he was him. Another could even be Will of Good Will Hunting. These characters have their differences in each story, but their conventionalism of character is evident. And where are the female characters of this cliche? Female characterizations are few and most are derogatorily presented of a societally accepted "girl" stature. Juno could be a good example. I use to think girls and woman or members of the LGBTQI community would have the capability of associating themselves with this male character, because of his seeming femininity, so, it wouldn't be a problem for this community, but I am wrong. 

There are issues attached to the themes of taboo in the Wallflower high school experience; hidden homosexuality and incest, which are trying to be just in there representation, but ultimately are hidden by the conniving presentation of the main character who seems to be a scapegoat for these themes, also involved in them simultaneously, giving him yet another seeming level of depth. The writer (of the book as well) and director Stephen Chbosky is trying to portray the underbelly of High School life, but doesn't leave any room for your disappointment or rumination of his main character. And if you are ever slightly questioning his actions, it's played off as comical and endearing. Charlie portrays a doglike innocence which entails a false anthropormphism, which does not exist because of his human body.

Why is all of this wrong? Because in the end, it's fantastique coated in an atmosphere of seemingly real situations. A storyteller has all the right to create his own world, but when he uses bits and pieces from my own world, and manipulates around imperfection to create a world where everything fits and falls into place for this one character, I am offended for the human experience of all people. But who's to say this hasn't happened in someones life? Maybe it has and maybe there is someone like Charlie. Then we have to question the storytelling. Why is this bad storytelling? The Wallflower story is quite conventional in a tradition sense of dramatic structure. And in this dramatic structure, the conflict is diminished because of the closed construction of this character. In the eyes of a young artist (Jr High and High School ages or people looking back on nostalgia), they want to be Charlie, so any interest of conflict does not feel threatening. It's just another check mark on the, things I want to be wrong with me for artistic integrity, box. An immature thought, without true progression or growth, like this story. 

The Seafairy

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