With Hotel for Dogs, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, Thor Freudenthal established himself as a strong director for effects-driven kid movies. Now, Words On Bathroom Walls takes his verve for imaginative effects and applies them to a story for older teens and young adults.
Based on the novel of the same name by Julia Walton, this is the story of Adam Petrizelli (Charlie Plummer), a schizophrenic student trying to make it through life.
Expelled halfway through his senior year following a psychotic break while in chemistry class, Adam is diagnosed with a mental illness and sent to a Catholic academy to finish out his term. He knows that he won’t fit in and just hopes that he can keep his illness a secret and make it to culinary school while avoiding his mother’s new boyfriend Paul (the always great Walton Goggins).
The film does an admirable job of translating Adam’s mental illness via special effects and personifying the voices within his head. He worries that his life will always be one of hiding until he meets Maya (Taylor Russell), who inspires him to open his heart and not be defined by his condition.
Lobo Sebastian, who plays the Bodyguard inside Adam’s visions, was also in Ghosts of Mars and played Lil Joker in Next Friday. Plus, it’s always great to see Andy Garcia in films, here as a priest who helps our protagonist.
Words on Bathroom Walls is available on blu ray, DVD and on demand from Lionsgate, who were nice enough to send us a copy to review.