The Fault In Our Stars by Wilson Morales
Based the popular John Green’s young adult best-selling novel, ‘The Fault in Our Stars,’ the film adaptation does a great job in not making the subject matter, which is about two terminally ill star-struck lovers, a depressing film. In fact, Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort are so captivating and genuine in their performances, they manage to make this intensely poignant film very moving, romantic and highly entertaining.
As the story unfold, Hazel Grace Lancaster (Woodley) has been battling thyroid cancer from most of her teenage life. From the age of 13 to now at 16, her lungs are so weak she has to walk around with an oxygen tank and a nose tube. Encouraged by her parents (Laura Dern and Sam Trammell) to find friends, she goes to this cancer-survivors therapy group session where she meets Augustus Waters (Elgort). He lost his leg to bone cancer and wears a prosthetic limb while he’s in remission. He’s there to support his friend Isaac (Nat Wolff), who’s about to go blind due to an unknown disease.
From the moment they meet, there’s a strong bong between them and Gus doesn’t waste any time in telling Hazel how beautiful she is. Shock by his abrasiveness, Hazel is still intrigued enough in him to have Gus read one of her favorite books, “An Imperial Affliction,” by Peter Van Houten. Taken time away from his videogames, Gus obliges her request and goes even further. He was able to communicate with the reclusive Van Houten via email. Hazel has been unsuccessful in trying to get a response from Van Houten on the vague ending of the book. Van Houten does suggest that should she make it out to Amsterdam, she could meet him.
From the time they make it to Amsterdam to meet the stubborn and ill-mannered Van Houton (Willem Dafoe), having dinner and visiting Anne Frank’s house, and then coming back home to face reality, a lot has changed in their lives. But throughout the inevitable feeling that anything can happen sooner than later, Hazel and Gus make the most of what it means to live life before the ability to do so goes away.
From those who read who the book and anyone who saw the trailer, you had to go in knowing that at some point you would have pull out some tissues. The inevitable conclusion that life would be taken away from one of the leads is not surprising. What’s amazing about this film is that director Josh Boone was able make his two central characters be genuine and unafraid of their circumstances. While Gus aims to do as much so he can remembered, Hazel is the opposite, but yet they connected with each other through their strengths. Elgort, who recently played Woodley’s brother in ‘Divergent,’ gets to be bold, witty, and charming. He’s the guy that girls want to bring home to dad. Woodley is just amazing and grounded as Hazel. Seeing the two meet in the middle and establishing a friendship before love is refreshing. As for the support characters, Nat Woolf just about stole every scene he is.
The one thing you can say about this film is that it’s not depressing. While it may sadden anyone to see a film about cancer, and there’s an occasional scene or two on the effects it has, the scenes are not played heavily. Written by Michael H. Weber and Scott Neustadter, the dialogue between the two is smart, witty and emotional. Knowing the end isn’t what matters. This film offers wisdom, heroism and a winning chemistry from the cast without the sappiness and contrived scenes one may have expected.