This review will not be very objective, but opinions never are, so why even try pretending? I pre-ordered The Fault In Our Stars when it was first announced. I haven’t read it more than once, but I did enjoy it a lot. It made me want to read more of John Green’s work, and I admit I was oddly hyped for a movie about teenagers with cancer.
The Fault In Our Stars is the story of Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters. It a story about young love. I liked the book because it managed to be deep in that teenager way I remember. Back when I read books that flew far over my head because I was searching for something. John Green captured that without being pretentious, unlike us back then. It’s hard not to know beforehand going in, even if you haven’t read the book, that this is going to be a tearjerker. One of the taglines reads: “One Sick Love Story.” Enough said, but not quite. Don’t let yourself get depressed out of seeing it, for the story has a lot of humour and love in it.
It is impossible for me to separate my experience with the book with how I reacted to this movie. There isn’t much lacking for the book-fans. It is a very good adaptation. Hazel Grace, played by Shailene Woodley, is almost exactly like the book. While we don’t get as much narration, for obvious reasons, what has been translated into a voice-over is good enough to show Hazel’s understanding of the world, her illness, and her love for Gus. I think their cuteness upstaged their playful snarkiness from the book, but only slightly.
The casting was great, and should I ever read the book again, it will be very hard not to imagine the actors. The story is, perhaps thankfully, just the right length for an adaptation. Not much was lost in terms of plot, but during some scenes you felt the absence of Hazel’s thoughts. Amsterdam occasionally felt a bit like a postcard, without anything written on the back. Luckily, for us book-readers at least, we could simply recall the words.
Then came the tearjerking. I have never been in a room with so many crying people. The whole theatre was drowning! I cried right on cue, and while some of it was due to my existing love of the characters, there is no doubt that it was also due to the fantastic performances and lovingly made film.
While it is very hard to stay subjective whenever something emotionally devastates you to this degree, I would recommend the film. It will hopefully make you want to read the book, and it is very true to the book’s spirit.