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The Perks Of Being A Wallflower (12A, 102 mins) Drama/Romance/Comedy.

The agonies and ecstasies of youth are beautifully encapsulated in writer-director Stephen Chbosky’s adaptation of his own critically acclaimed novel.

Set in early 1990s Pittsburgh, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is a bittersweet anthem to emotionally damaged youth. Fluffiness and mawkish sentimentality are absent from Chbosky’s cinematic lexicon.

Instead, he spares his characters neither blushes nor pain, venturing into some incredibly dark recesses of the human experience with sensitivity and restraint.

He accomplishes this impressive feat without sacrificing the biting humour of his book, condensing the tome into a compact running time that flies by in a blur of laughter and gut-wrenching despair.

Charlie (Logan Lerman) is devastated by the suicide of his good friend Michael and the senseless tragedy haunts the sensitive teenager as a new term beckons.

During an American football match, Charlie plucks up the courage to chat to openly gay classmate Patrick (Ezra Miller). He introduces Charlie to his step-sister, Sam (Emma Watson).

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is a celebration of those years when childhood innocence is shattered and young men and women nervously forge new paths that will determine the rest of their lives.