Review: The Fault In Our Stars
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“One of the best film’s I have seen in recent years! And no, I didn't cry...” - 5 Stars
The Fault In Our Stars is one of those five word phrases that is enough to get you sobbing so much that you’d have to hire a lifeguard. Almost every single teenage girl has been moved by the story of Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters, two young love-struck cancer sufferers, from the book written by John Green.
No, I’m certainly not a girl, but I have to admit that after jumping on the bandwagon of this ever so popular book, I too became moved by this incredible piece of literature. That’s why, understandably, the idea of it being adapted into a movie was both exciting and worrying.
With book to film adaptations’, being faithful to the tale isn’t a growing concern: both are based on a similar idea and the director has every right to be as creative as they like, even if that involves changing the story in one way or another. However, with a book that has, quite literally, touched the hearts of millions of people, it’s not a surprise that the director, Josh Boone, had a hell of a lot of pressure and high expectations on his plate. Fortunately, Boone succeeded on all levels!
The direction shone immaculately through this cinematic masterpiece, accurately capturing the tone of the characters, the context, and indeed the book. The scenes flowed perfectly, expressing the emotions in an appropriate and extremely creative manner. Whether that is through clever camera shots or text messages appearing on the screen (that sound’s quite boring but believe me it’s so cool!), The Fault In Our Stars proved that Josh Boone is a bad-ass director!
Not only was the directing brilliant but so was the music. The soundtrack for this film is second to none. Not one song felt out of place or ruined the mood of the story. That said, when you’ve got artists such as Birdy, Kodaline and Ed Sheeran on your belt, nothing can go wrong.
The acting was sensational. Shailene Woodley portrayed the difficult role of Hazel beautifully and Ansel Elgort’s performance was as gorgeous as John Green described Gus in the book. I loved in particular how realistic his prosthetic leg came across and how he responded to it with the way he walked. If one of these two young actors doesn’t walk away with an Oscar next year then Hollywood has no taste in cinema. Nat Wolff brought the comedy relief to the film very successfully as Isaac but also had many more dimensions to him, creating a character that audiences can’t help but love. Other actors who resonated wonderfully were Laura Dern, as Hazel’s mother, and Willem Dafoe, as Peter Van Houten. Despite this superb cast, one actor stood out like a sore thumb: Sam Trammell, a.k.a. Hazel’s dad, a.k.a. the worst actor I have ever seen ever. Ever.
Hazel’s parents are vital parts in this story. As Hazel says in the book, the only thing worse than biting it from cancer is “having a kid who bites it from cancer”. Even though Dern was a fantastic mother, Trammell came across as an annoyingly creepy man who you couldn’t wait to get off the screen. How this man got into the business, I sadly don’t know.
Another issue I had with this film was the rating: 12A. As the brother of a teenage girl, life is already extremely difficult. However, spending two hours with 100 of them in a small, hot room is something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.
My main issue with these people is that, in my opinion, they aren’t mature enough yet to enjoy a romantic film without laughing at sexual occurrences appearing on the screen. I’m not going to give too much away, but there is a very intimate scene where the lovers express their feelings towards each other… intimately. Scenes like this aren’t funny and are to be respected: NOT laughed at. Also, there was some swearing in this film, but it would have been nice to have had more as I would’ve expected being a cancer sufferer isn’t pleasant in the slightest and swearing is a good way to relieve yourself from stressful situations. Had the film been rated 15, I think I would have enjoyed my experience more. Regardless, as a 12A, it’s still pleasantly enjoyable - but if you want to enjoy it to the standard that it deserves then wait for the DVD release and sit back with a loved one.
(If you are a young teenage girl, I’m sorry if I’ve offended you but you. There are some people in this group who are in fact quite nice. Unfortunately, none of them were in the cinema when I went to see the film).
All in all, I really enjoyed this film. I’d even say that it is one of the best film’s I have seen in recent years. And no, I didn’t cry. That is probably because I found this film more uplifting than anything and I walked out with a completely different view on life, despite the heavy themes.
This film will most certainly stand the test of time and has made me confident for Boones other work and the upcoming Paper Towns movie, based on another John Green book and also staring Nat Wolff.
You have to see The Fault In Our Stars: it is a movie that will change your perspective on life and death. But before you do that, read the book, it’s very good! Okay? Okay.
By Roman Armstrong