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Monday, 10th December 2018

CRITIC’s CORNER: “Perks of Being a Wallflower” & “The Hobbit”

Posted on 22. Mar, 2013 by and in Series

The HobbitCritic's Corner - Week 2 - The Hobbit 2

Type: Feature Film

Genre: Fantasy

Review by: Fatema Ahmed

Bilbo Baggins had decided to abandon his thirst for adventure and spend the rest of his life among the company of books, following the concept of better safe than
sorry, and simply settling down in his humble hobbit home.

All this was until a wizard known as Gandalf the Grey knocked on his door, accompanied by Thorin Oakenshield, heir to the King under the Mountain, and his thirteen dwarves. The wizard invited Bilbo on a quest to retake their homeland, The Lonely Mountain, from the ruthless dragon, Smaug.

After a lengthy debate, Bilbo finally agreed to follow them, not knowing that along this journey, he would encounter all sorts of perils, in the form of orcs, trolls, goblins, and many more. Being alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, facing death with nothing but riddles, he shows more courage than ever, taking Gollum’s precious; a seemingly normal golden ring at first, with time proving that it would ultimately hold the fate of all Middle Earth.

An exciting yet easy to follow story line is what makes this movie stand out as a fine addition to the J.R.R Tolkien film adaptations, after the 3 tremendously successful Lord of the Rings feature films.

I found it to be quite less irritating than most movie adaptations, as well as more interesting than the book of its namesake. No matter how many times you read the book – even if you have the wildest imagination – it’s nothing compared to the exhilarating visual experience, culminated in the priceless scene where Bilbo spares Thorin’s life.

Bilbo’s dramatic change from a cowardly introverted character, to a heroic figure who finally gained his leader’s respect by single-handedly saving the day, will simply leave you inspired.

And while it is very long, the perilous adventure easily managed to keep me entertained for the whole duration. Highly recommended for Fantasy fans.


Critic's Corner - Week 2 - The Perks of Being a WallflowerThe Perks of Being a Wallflower

Type: Novel

Genre: Drama

Review by: Rana Deraz

In August of 1991, Charlie begins writing letters about his life to a stranger who he thinks will listen and understand. He recounts with absolute honesty the things that he sees, with the peculiar insight of a slightly autistic and intelligent-beyond-his-years teenager, in the scary world of first time experiences.

If I were an angsty 12 year old, I might have revered this book, for it speaks to the sense of alienation that most teenagers go through. I even understand why it has become a symbol for the experience of adolescence. But now? Not only that it’s quite age-irrelevant for me, me being 19 now, but there were several other reasons why my reading experience was far from enjoyable.

Firstly, Chbosky’s attempt to tell the story entirely through letters might be portrayed as ‘different’, but it just didn’t work for me. Charlie’s writing wasn’t very intellectual or articulate for someone who’s supposedly well-read and gifted. His naivety felt a little out of touch with the reality boys his age face.

I couldn’t manage to see how someone who, as a freshman, managed to befriend older, cooler seniors, goes out on dates, and has enough guts to hit a guy, can conform to the definition of being a Wallflower (A person who, because of shyness, unpopularity, or lack of partner, remains at the side at a party or a dance). He might be introverted, but not more than what is typical.

The plot is also preposterously ridiculous. It seemed like Chbosky was throwing in random drama just to make his novel edgy. It touches on many topics, but doesn’t dwell on any of them. Few writers are good enough to address suicide, molestation, domestic abuse, homosexuality, drug use, mental issues, rape and abortion within just a few pages, but Chbosky is not one of them, at least not according to this novel. This is probably why I felt detached from the story. For all the psychological traumas Charlie was going through, I couldn’t relate or sympathize at all.

What made it even worse were my own high expectations. For a book that has been made into a movie, and according to its mainstream popularity and the recommendations of friends, I expected my life to change or the earth to move, or something along those lines. But this book didn’t deliver anything it promised, it was just too lacking.

I can attribute the popularity of this novel only to its great variety of tear-jerking moments and clichéd quotes. If you, like me, lurk on social networks, I’m certain you too have lost count of the times you saw “We accept the love we think we deserve” quoted, plastered over excessively edited hipster photographs and venerated by teenagers.

I think the only thing I liked about this book was the list of the 80’s bands Charlie listened to; it did my playlist good. Other than that, I really failed to see what the hype is all about.

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