Hazel and Gus are two teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them on a journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous given that Hazel's other constant companion is an oxygen tank, Gus jokes about his prosthetic leg, and they met and fell in love at a cancer support ...more
Hazel and Gus are two teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them on a journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous given that Hazel's other constant companion is an oxygen tank, Gus jokes about his prosthetic leg, and they met and fell in love at a cancer support group. less
“Fault in Our Stars is the teenage romance you've been waiting for. Its witty writing and fabulous performances make it a must watch. Don't forget to carry a box full of tissues! ”
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Based on the bestseller by John Green, ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ always made for a ripe cinematic adaptation: a love story of two teenagers with a terminal affliction is not exactly the most novel of movie plots. However director Josh Boone manages to create an effective movie which is kind of instantly forgettable once you’ve stepped out of the theatre; it works just as much as it wanders into meandering nothingness.
The story’s told primarily from the perspective of Hazel (Shailene Woodley) a sixteen year old girl dying from cancer. One of her lungs gave away long time back but she’s fought back to lend some sense of normalcy to her life now, despite which she has to carry around an oxygen cylinder with her at all times. With doting parents and no school or “normal” things to do like any other teenager, her greatest obsession is reading the book, An Imperial Affliction, by her favourite author, Peter Van Houten again and again. That is until she meets, Augustus (Ansel Elgort), a fellow cancer survivor, at a cancer support group meeting. Augustus has a far more exuberant outlook on life and sparks fly with the two hitting it off magnificently, but the clock is ticking and it’s only a matter of time that this romance will meet its tragedy.
The movie’s plot can be labelled as ‘wafer-thin’ and the element that keeps things moving is the acting which leads to little moments of unexpected charm and sincere warmth. Augustus and Hazel’s dinner at a restaurant in Amsterdam or their little picnic or their late night texting is cute but at the same time the culmination of the Anne Frank house visit or the “Grenade” conversation is groan-worthy at best. However the scene towards the end when Hazel berates Augustus for his need to be loved by all, does hold some genuine emotion that many of the scenes of the movie aren’t able to replicate.
Shailene Woodley is blessed with the most wonderful brown eyes, that bookend the movie and it’s starry gaze. All her awkwardness, her affection, heartbreak and indifference is reflected in those beautiful eyes. It’s time when she tries to be like Jennifer Lawrence that she stumbles and she’d be better off building her own brand of acting than aping J-Law. Elgort on the other hand smiles throughout with a wisecrack not far behind, he’s tolerable but the constant smile can get a little grating.
Laura Dern is pitch perfect as the mother coming to terms with her daughter’s inevitable demise and at the same time looking to remain as normal as she can in front of her. But it is Willem Dafoe who walks away with a performance that radiates pain and kookiness in equal measure. His appearance is built with much ado but overall his presence doesn’t add anything to the plot beyond acting as a device to add an element to the ending.
The screening I attended was filled with a large number of young women who were wiping tears and sniffling through much of the movie; most had read the book and were able to offer insights into what parts were missed out in the transition to the big screen. They seemed to like it overall and I think this is the audience that would really appreciate the movie over others. I simply walked away without recollecting anything memorable but not being bored by the proceedings.