[FILM REVIEW] Words on Bathroom Walls captures schizophrenia


Words on Bathroom Walls is based on the novel of the same name by Julia Walton. The film stars Charlie Plummer (pictured), Andy García, Taylor Russell (pictured), AnnaSophia Robb, Beth Grant, Molly Parker and Walton Goggins.

Words on Bathroom Walls is a romantic drama directed by Thor Freudenthal based on an award winning novel by Julia Walton about Adam, a teenage boy diagnosed with schizophrenia. This mental illness causes him to see and hear things no one else can. Schizophrenia affects thinking and behavior, it can most likely occur depending on what is happening in your surroundings and how many people there are. For Adam, his symptoms presented in a Chemistry lab: While the class was working on an experiment, he saw chemicals getting knocked over and noticed the chemicals burn his friends arm. Adam realized none of this was actually happening but because he was being disruptive, so he got expelled.

Adam transfers to Saint Agatha’s Catholic school where his mother hopes he could possibly get better. He is expected to get A’s for all his classes and take his medications. His mother makes him take medication after medication in hopes to cure the illness. While he is attending Saint Agatha’s, he keeps his schizophrenia a secret from everyone including Maya Arnaz, the school’s valedictorian and the girl he falls in love with. Adam believes that he is a victim of his own mental illness because of the way people see him, they see him as a threat and fear his presence when in reality Adam is a teenager like everyone else at his school and has hopes and dreams to go to culinary school to become a chef.

No one wants to grant our wishes.

Adam not only hears voices, but sees them as people he has never met them before. There are three voices who follow him around and tell him what to do, Rebecca the hippie (played by AnnaSophia Robb), Joaquin the 1980s teenager (played by Devon Bostick), and the angry lifeguard (played by Lobo Sebastian). These voices influence Adam’s decisions and emotions.

Words on Bathroom Walls portrays schizophrenia in a way that is sensitive and isn’t too dark. Words on Bathroom Walls is not a horror film that uses mental health as a source of entertainment, but it’s rather authentic and brings awareness to the audience. Freudenthal does a great job creating visuals about schizophrenia as if the audience is there with the character experiencing it. Words on Bathroom Walls is not a horror film that uses mental health as a source of entertainment, but it’s rather authentic and brings awareness to the audience.

He emphasizes that most people sympathize with people who have cancer more than people with mental illnesses.

This film is rated PG-13 which is great for teenagers because it portrays a teenager who experiences stress and pressure from both home and school, along with wanting to be loved and accepted. It captures a teenager finding their way in life with hopes and dreams they want to achieve.

Rating: ★★★★★