‘The world is not a wish-granting factory.’
Based on the novel of the same name, The Fault in Our Stars brings from paper to screen the same Rom-Com drama that has already encompassed so many readers. Josh Boone (Stuck in Love) takes John Green’s sixth novel and paints it colourfully onto the big screen for all to marvel at, no telescope necessary (had to be done). Sixteen year old cancer patient Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley) helps the movie dance along through her narration, unfolding for us a love story in an indifferent universe without luck, karma and dedication to what is fair.
Ansel Elgort stars alongside Woodley once again but the relationship this time around is less brotherly (Divergent) – and appropriately so, because that’d be weird and illegal. Attending a cancer support group her parents force her to join, Hazel does not expect to find a dark and mysterious Augustus Waters sitting among the other depressing and frustratingly archetypal cancer patients and survivors. Bonding over their seemingly insensitive but simply just genuine and realistic take on their health, the two soon find they have a special kind of relationship that almost makes you forget the whole cancer aspect because the two are too busy melting your damn heart. However, do not be fooled by the poetic title, philosophical quotes and almost infuriating cuteness. As time progresses and with it situation and circumstance, it becomes more apparent that the touching relationship of the two protagonists is based on an inescapable premise of realism – a harsh, cruel mistress that will not spare your emotions (take heed of this warning, choose your movie-seeing partner carefully).
The painful yet heart-warming and relatable relationship between Hazel and Augustus depends on an honest portrayal from the source and for that both Woodley and Elgort deserve complete praise. Elgort is true to the book in that he is easy on the eye (your tear-filled, sobbing eye) and Woodley fits the casual yet deep and magnetic character of Hazel incredibly well. The performance of the supporting actors is also one to be mentioned, with both Laura Dern’s (Jurassic Park) and Sam Trammell’s (True Blood) interpretation of Hazel’s down-to-earth and incredibly loving parents helping to create a very real family life not affected by both cancer and the every day.
The addictive lovey-dovey atmosphere interrupted with a reminder of reality is perfected by the film’s soundtrack. Featuring that of Ed Sheeran, Kodaline and Ray DeMontagne the film becomes instantly relevant and relatable, with already released and well known songs (now tainted by sadness) as well as originals making the film its own. You’ll be humming along through your tears in no time.
The Fault in Our Stars is a film about accepting reality and all that comes with it – making for a tragic story with a juxtaposing yet perfectly incorporated sweet, funny and lighthearted side. The two team perfectly together, leaving you feeling like you’ve come to terms that life isn’t offering free hugs anytime soon…but you’ll be needy and forcefully cuddling your boyfriend/girlfriend/dog within the hour.
‘There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything…Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever.’