Cert: 12A Runtime: 126 mins Director: Josh Boone Cast: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolff, Laura Dern, Sam Trammell and Willem Dafoe
Some infinities are bigger than other infinities
First of all I wasn’t going to watch this movie, but being the good friend I am I went along. The Fault In Our Stars for me originally didn’t seem like my cup of tea, with a bit of research and discussion it seemed bearable at best. So what is The Fault In Our Stars all about? Sixteen-year-old Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley) was diagnosed with cancer three years ago. She carries an oxygen tank everywhere and prefers not to sugar-coat the reality of her situation. Her concerned mother (Laura Dern) encourages her to attend a cancer support group and make friends. She makes an instant connection with funny and charming Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort), who has a prosthetic leg and has been in remission for 18 months. Clear-eyed Hazel fears that this cannot end well, but is unable to stop herself falling for Gus.
The book I am unfamiliar with, but a reliable source has told me it’s very faithful to the book. When I left the cinema on a wave of tears from my fellow cinema goers, I thought to myself it wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be. It is truly an uplifting drama about the risks of having cancer and it might be a difficult thing to balance between the sad parts and their happiness, and fortunately it doesn’t become a problem. It’s not as completely powerful nor gritty as it should be, but it’s wise enough to just embrace its aesthetics and soul. It’s actually not an original thing to see a love story about two sick people trying to gloss over their pain with a relationship. Hazel and Gus’s interaction keeps it simple, attempting to forget the real problems of their condition. These types of drama tend to over sentimentalizing the unpleasant truth behind the person in every single moment, but instead, they most of the time just express who they are. The painful moments only happens when it has to remind the two that they are still living with a fatal disease. The film remarkably hits the right note in both elements. The romance is distinctly endearing, the truly soulful moments that aren’t meant to be taken away. And the crucial parts which straightly display the reality of what they are going through.
They are definitely affecting, but only at the fine level. The real impact only comes occasionally, and when it goes there, it becomes triumphant. The film just needed a lot more contemplation at the rest of the depression. It’s probably too busy focusing at the sweet stuff, but that couldn’t be a big flaw anyway. The movie just could have suggested to be tougher. Still, I’m glad it manages to flesh out these characters beyond their struggles. The leading cast shines all around. Shailene Woodley is pretty natural as she imbues the character’s personality more than just the angsty feelings. It works in both ways but we get to know Hazel better at the brighter side. Ansel Elgort shares the same feat by showing off his charms, until the performance becomes a nuance when the situation has got a lot serious. But it did take a while for me to like the character.The Fault in Our Stars has favored enough for the fans by being a really good and faithful adaptation of the popular book, but a better movie would deeply contemplated more on the serious stuff. Nevertheless the film still keeps the themes effective; the characters are wonderfully developed and the drama doesn’t rely too much on making the audience cry. Overall it’s a pretty strong film which standout by its outstanding performances and a direction that fully understands the environment and subtext of every scene, unlike most YA films.