Movie Review | The Fault In Our Stars

3.5/5 stars

The Fault In Our Stars, based on the best-selling novel by John Green, is not another cancer story. Or so they say. Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley) is a sixteen year old girl who got diagnosed with thyroid cancer when she was thirteen. Although the thyroid cancer is gone, she now has it in her lungs, which require her to carry an oxygen tank around.

Her mother believes Hazel to be depressed, and sends Hazel to a support group every week. Hazel hates it there, as the only thing she gets out of it is hearing stories about having no balls (because of testicular cancer). However one day, there is a newcomer; Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort). They form an immediate connection that is set to send them on a whirling ride that none of the audience is likely to forget.

The thing about this novel, is that it’s very wordy; nothing the characters say would you expect to hear in real life, especially teenagers’ mouths. But isn’t that the point of fiction? To make life seem grand more than it actually is? Well, uh, not really. And even though John Green’s words flowed while reading the novel, in a movie it just didn’t work.

I went into the movie a little sceptical. A lot of Gus’ lines from the book are very pretentious. And I knew that hearing them come from a real person’s mouth would make it sound almost douchebaggy. I was right and wrong. Gus never really comes across as douchebaggy; in times like Amsterdam where he and Hazel go on romantic adventures, he says many of the pretentious lines. It just made him seem insecure. The opposite of what Augustus Waters was supposed to portray. Ansel Elgort just didn’t fit right with me; even though I know how hard it would be to pull off those lines, he didn’t manage it, and I can’t see him as Augustus.

Honestly, I believe Nat Wolff, the actor who played Isaac, would have been a better Augustus. His performance as Isaac was incredible, sarcastic but still feeling, and I really look forward to seeing more of his work in the future.

Because The Fault In Our Stars is such a word based book, there was a lot of VoiceOver done by Hazel. Although I understand why they did it, and that a lot of thoughts probably wouldn’t have come across without it, it felt a little off to me? I’m not quite sure how to explain it, except to say that it didn’t help me get drawn into the story, it actually made me feel like I was just watching a documentary.

However, Shailene Woodley managed to pull it off. Again, I didn’t quite see her as Hazel either, but she was able to bring Hazel’s character to life in her own interpretation which was great to see. I really applaud her performance, because there were a lot of tough scenes that would’ve required intense emotion. (All the actors did a great job, but Shailene and Nat really stood out to me)

The plot? I’m still a little confused to be honest. An Imperial Affliction is what brings Hazel and Augustus together. However in the movie, the plot of the book isn’t really explained at all. I feel like if I hadn’t read the book, than I wouldn’t have fully grasped what they were talking about, and why it was so special. And even though this seems like a minor complaint to make, it is so crucial towards the plot line, that it seemed they made it too insignificant.

Of course, there were some plot points that were left out from the adaptation, which is completely understandable. One thing that I wish they hadn’t left out was about Gus’ ex-girlfriend Caroline Mathers. In my opinion, if they had left her in there, it would’ve shown that Gus did know what hew as getting into, which would then portray how much he did care for Hazel. Overall it was one of the better adaptations, with a lot of the dialogue and excerpts taken exactly from the book.

Not going to lie, even though it wasn’t my favorite movie, I did cry (4 times maybe?), although I cry over seriously every movie. Bring tissues if you’re a hardcore fan. If you’re not familiar with the novel, still go, it sane experience that you shouldn’t miss.

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