The Fault in Our Stars (2014) is an interesting film, why?
Within the first ten minutes of the movie and with the background of reading the description you will find yourself deducing almost the entire plot, likely twists and ending. Still, I found myself watching the movie entirely and being entertained, credit for that goes to Screenplay and good Direction by Josh Boone.
The film is based on a novel by the same title by John Green, it’s about a teenage girl (Hazel played by Shailene Woodley), a cancer survivor living with a lung condition that requires her to carry an oxygen tube in her nose always. The story revolves around Hazel falling in love with another cancer patient, a teenage boy (Augustus played by Ansel Elgort) with one leg amputated due to cancer, while both fight their disease and one loses the battle. In between, we are shown quickly Hazel’s struggle with the disease as a fast flashback and meeting of her beloved writer Peter van Houten in Amsterdam which turns out to be unexpected.
I get fascinated whenever I watch continental European cities on screen, the same happened in the portions where the story visits Amsterdam. Though we could guess what’s to follow when Hazel & Augustus meet with Peter van Houten, the harsh words spoken by the writer doesn’t fail to shock us and makes us feel the pain of Hazel. The writer says to the two young cancer patients who have travelled all the way from the USA to Amsterdam just to see him, that you both are spoiled American brats who are used to pampering due to your illness and you should realize that you both are just failed experiments in the millions of human evolution instances; Don’t bother me with what happens further in fiction, get over it. This is followed by the writer’s assistant taking Hazel & Augustus to visit Anne Frank’s House, hearing Anne Franks’ name was enough for Hazel to forget her disappointment and pull herself, the visit to the cellar after the arduous climb was a perfect background for Hazel to express her love to Augustus.
While Hazel’s character is deeply rooted in realism, Augustus character has been made from a Hollywood cookie cutter to be bold, outward-looking and cheerful. Depicting cancer patients in a visual medium is difficult, the disease doesn’t show its deadly signs on the outside. What we see are the weakness and fatigue of the patients but could never see what they are going through. To get this covered the Director has relied on showing an oxygen tube being constant around Hazel’s nose and blood during the acute stage for Augustus.
What I found to be different in the film was how the caregivers in this case the parents of Hazel were shown, Hazel’s mother character has been sculpted nicely, showing the human emotions of a mother holistically. Overall, a good film to keep you entertained for two hours, which could have been improved with sharper editing to trim the drag at a few places.