Star struck by "The Fault in Our Stars"

June 9, 2014, 10:56 a.m. | By Divya Rajagopal | 7 years, 1 month ago

"The Fault in Our Stars" will make you laugh one second and cry the next

Warning: This review contains spoilers for "The Fault in Our Stars."

From laughing hysterically to crying uncontrollably, "The Fault in Our Stars" takes you on a two hour rollercoaster of emotions. Director Josh Boone creates a tale of infinite beauty and inspiration from the long-standing #1 New York Times bestselling novel by John Green.

Shailene Woodley portrays teenage cancer patient Hazel Grace Lancaster, who is barely hanging onto life by means of a 'miracle' drug. Hazel's parents force her to go to a cancer support group where she meets the charming and clever Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort), who falls for Hazel the moment he lays eyes on her. Woodley and Elgort have great chemistry, allowing them to effortlessly depict Hazel and Gus's love story despite the difficulties of Hazel's sickness and through their adventures in Amsterdam.

In Boone's interpretation, the story is told as a flashback: it begins with Hazel lying on a lawn at night and gazing at a starry sky. Hazel's narrations of her experiences are drawn verbatim from the book. At the end of the movie, the scene returns to Hazel lying on the grass once again, this time after Gus's funeral. Boone's decision to portray the story as a flashback adds to the storyline and helps provide viewers with closure.

The moment in the movie that sends a chorus of sniffles echoing through the theatre is when Gus reveals his secret to Hazel: he has stage IV cancer. Even those who have read the novel and have been bracing themselves for this exact moment feel the ache in their chest as this scene unravels. The theatre is full of intermittent sobbing from this point on until the end of the movie, when Augustus finally passes away.

Crafted by Scott Neustader and Michael H. Weber, the script takes an easygoing approach to the movie, including phrases from the novel that are the quintessential embodiment of Green's prose. It is this faithfulness to the novel that makes it stand out; movie critics may argue that a movie does not need to be bound by the plotline of the book to be successful, but in this case, it is nothing but advantageous to the quality of the movie. Boone goes as far as to add endearing special effects such as the small blue textboxes appearing on the screen that show Hazel and Gus's texts to each other, copied word-for-word from the novel.

Photo: Augustus (Ansel Elgort) and Hazel (Shailene Woodley) being adorable.

The "Fault in Our Stars" is not a love story. It is a story about two people who fall in love, but it is not a love story. It may be filled with the substance of sappy romance novels and cliché poetry guys learn to impress girls, but it is not a love story. It is a life story that embodies all the relationships and emotions that any person, terminally ill or not, can hope to ever experience or feel.

Yes, it may cost you a box of Kleenex. Yes, you may arrive home in a daze, curl up in bed with your copy of the novel and re-read every word, this time imagining Woodley and Elgort as your Hazel and Gus. And, yes, your heart may be broken many times over by the end of this ordeal. But I can firmly assert that it will be a privilege to have your heart broken by Mr. John Green's story.

"The Fault in Our Stars" is rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some sexuality and brief strong language and is now playing in theaters everywhere.

Tags: John Green The Fault in Our Stars Ansel Elgort Josh Boon Shailene Woodley

Divya Rajagopal. Hi! My name is Divya Rajagopal. I'm a junior and I love writing. I enjoy watching Suits and How I Met Your Mother and listening to Coldplay. I play tennis on my school team and ski in the winter. More »

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