There is really no introduction needed for this
book-to-screen adaptation because, as usual, everyone but me has seen it. It just happens to be the day in which I decided
to put thoughts to paper and then publish said thoughts on the blog.
introduces us to the now-famous characters of Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort) and Hazel Grace
Lancaster (Shailene Woodley), two teenagers who have both been diagnosed with cancer
and lived with different results. Gus lost his leg to his “touch of cancer,” and for a year and a half has been healthy. Hazel has never been anything but
terminal. Only there was a miracle drug that bought her a few more years even
as her lungs continue to limit what she can do. These two meet in a cancer
support group, which sets in motion an extraordinary adventure no one will
Knowing where to start proves to be a challenge as regards
this story. It’s something you’ll adore or hate (speaking in terms of an
adaptation), which is one reason that makes the movie difficult to review and
form coherent thoughts for. Another reason being, anyone that has an aversion to sad,
sometimes uncomfortable stories will probably wish they’d never seen this.
Fortunately, like the good reader I am, I held off watching this (even with the
pretty DVD cover sitting on my bookshelf staring at me) until I’d read the
novel and I must say, as always, I’m pleased I did.
Even afterwards, the film sat unwatched for a period of time which on reflection is actually good; it
allowed some “separation” between the two “versions” that I probably wasn’t
aware was needed. Where the first half of the book is the strength that carries
the entire story, the film is the opposite – it’s in the latter half when
everything comes alive and lights up.
…I can not tell you how thankful I am, for our little infinity. You gave me a forever, within the numbered days. And for that I am… I am eternally grateful. – The Fault in our Stars
There is something of a timid quality to the setup of the
story (or that is my opinion). Nothing seemed as warm or endearing as the book
portrayed these characters, then Hazel and Gus bond, use a wish to go to
Amsterdam and beautiful memories are made. It’s in these moments and beyond
that the movie shows its best talents; and going where rarely any movie or book has, made me cry! Naturally, the casting is
phenomenal. Shailene lives up to the praise she is earning and this film does a
splendid job expanding on Hazel’s parents; Laura and Sam played them
wonderfully! I enjoyed so many of the scenes with her parents, including the
all-to-short and only scene of Hazel and her father talking about Gus.
dozens of times. You finish this and immediately want to pop in
something else that’s lighthearted and maybe just a little bit silly, because
the tears you’ve cried will probably make you feel spent – and seriously, this
film has that kind of effect on most people. The story gives us two
characters from the young adult and teen fiction scene who go against every
stereotype there is – both of them are understandably mature (three cheers for less drama as a result) – made so by
life, delightful characters, who just happen to be hard to forget.
with the characters finding joy in the small things and then tug at your
heartstrings, break your heart and downright scare you with its realization of life being a fleeting thing. Usually I
would say the film is better because, yes, I clearly like to be different. But
in this case, I’m torn.
Like I said there is a halfway mark in the book and
film, so perhaps comingled they compliment each other nicely – and I cannot say
how much better the film ends than the book. Not because the scripter ended
this differently, more because this final scene somehow served to make the film
“feel” more complete. There is a thread of hope that was missing from the source material and for that, the movie definitely gives the audience something to cling to.
because… there is some profanity like sh*t and abuse of God’s name, and one use
of the f-word. Two characters end up in bed together – we see them kissing and
partially undress each other before the camera cuts to an “after” scene of the
two lying in bed together, bare legs and chests with sheets placed over them.
There are some innuendoes and crude gestures to anatomy, and there is one make
out scene that is played for laughs.)