The Fault In Our Stars is a mostly satisfying adaptation of the novel with the same name. It was downright witty and unconventional for a love story, but it didn’t bring with it the gravity and the depth of the story about two teenagers with cancer who fell in love with each other. The actors were really good in their roles but the shortness of the script as compared to what happened in the book limited what they could have brought more onto the screen.
I liked Shailene Woodley here more than in Divergent. It’s pretty amazing how she attuned herself to become the lead character Hazel Grace, making me think hard about what she looked like and how she acted on Divergent. Her fragile-looking yet really tough demeanor in this movie really captured how I pictured out her character while reading the book. Furthermore, the movie won’t be as good as it was without the great chemistry Woodley has with her onscreen partner, Ansel Egort. Egort was able to embody Hazel Grace’s love, Augustus Waters or simply Gus, with good conviction. His charm was contagious, which was the definitive description of his character in the book. The mere presence of these two together demanded the audience to look at them with earnest. More importantly, they’ve shown convincingly the exuberance of falling in love and being in love against all odds.
The movie was full of promise at the start. And it ably relived the wit, the sarcasm, the punch and the spirit of the book. Dealing with cancer could never be easy, much more so with dying. But love, even though complicated and such, would always bring light amidst this darkness caused about by dying. The film had successfully balanced the seriousness of the themes and the delight (and sometimes foolishness) of being in love. That is, at least before the final 30 minutes of the film.
When Gus and Hazel Grace went back to the United States after their trip to The Netherlands that made up of searching for their favorite book’s author (the enigmatic problematic alcoholic Peter von Hauten as portrayed by Willem Dafoe), learning about Anne Frank and enjoying each other’s company and more, the plot went downhill. The story suddenly felt rushed and some details could have been included even if they’d lengthen the film a bit more. A major character’s death felt like it was hastily put in. This part in the book made a lot of readers cry, but in the movie, it felt like it was just let out in the open very loosely.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed watching the film. That feeling of happiness amidst adversities always brings out something great inside of me and I thank the movie for that. Mind you, though, The Fault In Our Stars is not a feel-good movie in the strictest sense of the word. The movie is about the tragedy of dying, which was mostly glimpsed upon by the touching performances of the lead stars. However, the movie is not just about dying. It’s about trying to love and live amidst dying.
The Fault In Our Stars’ movie rating by the pondering movie fan: 3.5 out of 5