I didn’t read the YA novel for Words On Bathroom Walls, but it must have been better.
That’s not a radical statement as most books are better than the movie adaptations. It’s often the run time that has to trim too much of the book that ruins the adaptation.
When dealing with Adam’s mental illness and the hallucinations manifesting themselves as three different characters, I think they were left too much on the cutting room floor.
Words on Bathroom Walls gives the audience a lot to think about by approaching mental illness from the perspective of a boy who has it. There is one scene in particular, when Adam is sitting on a bus and notices that there is a homeless man with similar symptoms in the back. The man is having a much harder time of it than Adam, but to Adam the man is a grim reminder of what is at stake and where he could be without support and treatment.‘Words on Bathroom Walls’: Must-see movie of 2020
… you’ve been warned, SPOILERS ahead …
Was left wanting to learn more about the three hallucination characters
Interestingly enough the article quoted above told me more about Adam’s three hallucination characters than the movie. I was curious and interested in them, but the film just catches them in brief snippets and it’s too short to involve them that much in the plot. It felt to me like so much more could have been done with them that they just ended up reminding viewers that they weren’t being used effectively.
Yes, the title matters
The very first thing to draw people in is the title. This title is about as nondescript as possible. Words on bathroom walls? Is that vandalism? Is it a poem? A secret message? Why didn’t they add some sort of verb to the title to spice it up. Unhinged, the recent Russell Crowe movie is an awesome title. Tenet? Don’t know what it is, but it makes you curious. The Personal Diary of David Copperfield? We know what we’re getting. But this title is weak.
Reviews by Others
What do others think of Words On Bathroom Walls?
- Carla Renata: ” With gorgeously sensitive and graphic direction from Thor Freudenthal and creative visualization cinematography from Michael Goi, “
- David Ferguson / Movie Reviews From The Dark: “I watched this film back-to-back with another teen-drama-romance new release entitled CHEMICAL HEARTS, and it’s extremely rare to find two such thought-provoking films centered on a pair of high school students … but quite a treat (although I believe all 4 actors are long past high school age).”
- Dyl’s Movie Stuff (8/10): “…is a heartbreaking, real look at mental illness that also features a fun, lighthearted cast of characters.”
- Everyone’s A Critic with Audrey Easterling: “This is the best film I’ve seen in a while. I cannot wait to read the book (it gets here tomorrow). This film depicts mental illness in a way I haven’t seen before.”
- Ferdosi Abdi / Screen Queens: “…is a sensitive and raw depiction of a young man’s battle to find control in his life. The film highlights the importance and effectiveness of honesty, supporting each other, patience, and most importantly, not hiding away from unfortunate circumstances. It is deftly handled from all involved and makes for an emotional movie experience.”
- Humanizing The Vacuum: “…is often overwrought but retains a core of honesty thanks to the central performance of Charlie Plummer “
- Jumpcut Online / Rudo Christine Gwaze: “…is enjoyable, but often uses cliches and ignores a few of the plots it introduces. However, it can be forgiven as it provides an assuring message of hope that we should all want to hear.”
- Kathy Kaiser: “…is one of those films that should be viewed by everyone over the age of 13, as it brings to light the many layers that those with Schizophrenia must face ~ and in a totally relatable way ~ giving everyone who views it a better understanding of how life crushing mental illness can be. Now, I’m sure there are those out there that are going to view this film, and decide that it just “sugar coats” the true pain and frustration that those with mental illness must face, but I was happy to see that we are bringing the struggles of mental illness to the forefront,”
- Logan Coleman (9.75/10): ” I am hopeful the film will be nominated for an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for this year’s awards season. Hopeful that both Andy García and Walton Goggins will be nominated for the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for this year’s awards season. This film does have ties to religion but not in a overbearing way and the message is uplifting towards the end of the film”
- Pavel Klein / writepavelwrite: “Suffering from my own demons, major depressive disorder among them, there was a note of dark familiarity to what I was seeing, but it was nice to see that familiarity couched within such a positive framework, often funny, always sweet, but never trivializing mental illness. If you’re wondering why a movie like this is important, look at the stigma attached to schizophrenia. It’s so strong even I made sure to clarify that my mental illness was not that one”
- Rebecca Chamaa / The Mighty: “I’m giving “Words on Bathroom Walls” five stars or two thumbs up for managing to avoid stereotypes, creating a hopeful representation of schizophrenia and an excellent coming of age story.”
- Screen Zealots (4/5): “While the film gets a little corny towards the finale, the end result is a heartfelt message that kindness, love, and familial support can help a person live with instead of suffer from mental illness.”
- Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: “The film is a little out of his league for director Thor Freudenthal, as he has only directed kids movies like Percy Jackson 2 and Hotel For Dogs in his career, but maybe this is a stepping stone to get it out typecast. The film is shot well, and he is clearly an actor’s director, getting fantastic performances out of everyone. I enjoyed reading the words on this wall, I only wish there were more words that I hadn’t seen before and more serious words at that.”
- Chris / filmmixtape (Grade: C-): “Despite the significance of its subject, the alternatingly flat and gauche execution of Words on Bathroom Walls keeps it firmly in the realm of forgettable teen cinema rather than the essential.”
- Dewey Singleton / Dewey’s Movies: “…resembles a Lifetime original film filled with obvious melodramatic plot points. However, there are moments in the film where Russell and Plummer’s talent shine through the mess. The two leads are perhaps the biggest selling points of the film. Beyond that, there’s no real reason to go see this in theaters.”
- King’s Movie Reviews (6.5/10): “…it’s good to see movies touching on this subject. The acting is good and the movie is heart felt, however I was expecting a little more. I felt that it was dragged out and lagged in some parts. It’s not a bad movie, just a little disappointing.”
- Smash and Nasty Go To The Movies: “…while cute, this movie isn’t something to clamber over yourself to see in a theater in this still uncertain world”
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