FILM UNFILTERED – Young cast offer strong performances in ‘Words on Bathroom Walls’

FILM UNFILTERED – Young cast offer strong performances in ‘Words on Bathroom Walls’

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“Words on Bathroom Walls” is a teenage drama that revolves around the story of a young man who is diagnosed with schizophrenia and his struggle to live life as normally as possible.

The lead character, Adam, is played by Charlie Plummer and he brings a well-rounded mix of angst and affliction to his role. He plays narrator throughout much of the film and maintains a soft-spoken running commentary of his life thus far.

He used to hear voices in his head, he tells us, until one day he started seeing other things, particularly three other figments of his imagination. He sees Joaquin (Devon Bostick) who is an unfiltered and sex-starved representation perhaps of his adolescence. Rebecca (AnnaSophia Robb) is the hippy, sensitive type who helps soothe his psyche. Lastly there’s his “bodyguard” (Lobo Sebastian) who is a baseball bat wielding tough guy in an Adidas tracksuit who runs interference and protection for those times when Adam struggles or his fear manifests.

Adam finds himself looking for a new school midyear after an incident in chemistry class and he winds up in a Catholic prep school. He stumbles across the soon-to-be appointed class valedictorian, Maya (Taylor Russell), dealing in written papers for the less stellar students in the boys’ room. They become friends as he needs a tutor and she needs the cash. They form a bond and find themselves helping each other in ways they didn’t expect.

“Words on Bathroom Walls” is a cute and dramatic film and while its storyline and plot aren’t necessarily anything new, its special effects and involvement of his imaginary pals makes for some hilarious moments. Joaquin particularly has some of the best lines because he says and does many of the things people think but never act on. Turning in a great supporting role is Andy Garcia as Father Patrick, an understanding, stoic figure at a time when Adam needs one. Walt Goggins, who has played his fair share of bad guys over the last few years, plays the boyfriend to his mom and gets to be a nice guy for once. But perhaps the most rewarding part of this film is the relationship between the two young actors, Plummer (Adam) and Russell (Maya). They both have a very good grasp of the direction they want to take their characters and they play well off each other.

The film is based on the award-winning novel by Julia Walton. Director Thor Freudenthal has shown a penchant for directing kids fare such as “Percy Jackson” and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.”

Charlie Plummer and Taylor Russell star in the teen drama “Words on Bathroom Walls.”