On the cancer blues…
I didn’t watch the summer blockbuster The Fault in Our Stars, but good news! My younger sister did and she has written this awesome review for you to read. Enjoy!
The Fault in Our Stars is a movie adaptation of the popular novel by John Green with the same title. At a glance, it might seem as if it’s just another cancer love story but for those who have seen it, it is definitely more than that.
It begins with the story of an ordinary teenage girl, named Hazel Grace (starring Shailene Woodley), obviously sick with cancer. She has supportive parents, played by Sam Trammell and Laura Dern, who suggested her to attend a support group for cancer patients. After many naysaying from Hazel, she finally agreed to join the much dreaded meeting. After two days of joining the group, she was face to face with Augustus Waters’ charming smile and I bet even the ones who didn’t read the book would have guess that they would the next big couple. And they are very much correct.
Ansel Elgort played the character of Augustus Waters, who is also a member of the Cancer Support group. Hazel and he started off as friends but the chemistry was obvious since the first scene.
Another participant of the group was Isaac, starred by Nat Wolff. Isaac is a friend of Gus and also a supporting character loved by the audience. His friendship with Augustus was something that everybody could connect with. They are supportive of each other, yet they love to throw insults at every chance they get. His friendship with Hazel grows as the movie progresses, and Hazel, Gus and Isaac made an undeniably humorous trio.
In the middle of the movie, Hazel, her mother and Gus went to Amsterdam to visit the writer of “An Imperial Affliction”, Peter Van Houten, played by William Dafoe. When their favorite author turned out to be a complete “douchepants” (as stated by Hazel herself), she and Gus had nothing to do except to discover the beautiful city themselves. Hazel was quite persistent that they should strictly stay friends before the trip, however in the midst of discovering, they fell deeply in love with each other. They continue to learn more about each other after they reached home and ended up making the best out of whatever little infinity they got. They are more concerned with spending as much happy times together rather than worrying about which phase of a relationship they are in.
The reason why this movie is a wonderful book adaptation is not only because it sticks to its main plot and follow the same dialogues; it is also because of the overall casting of the characters. Everybody had their own special roles in making this film so successfully done.
Hazel is played by the talented Shailene Woodley and I can’t stress enough on how perfect their casting choice was. Although many people doubted her at first because her physique wasn’t particularly what the readers imagined Hazel to be, she proved us all wrong. It’s as if Shailene took the role of Hazel Grace and made her own better version of it. She lived up to the character so much that at the end of the movie, even readers of the novel can’t help but feel as if Shailene is Hazel herself.
Another actor who deserves applause is none other than Ansel Elgort. He might not be the mahogany-haired heart-throb that the readers pictured to portray our male protagonist, but just like Shailene, he ended up surprising us too. Augustus Waters is a free-spirited guy with a fresh sense of humor and we can find all of that in Ansel’s performance. The dialogues (and metaphors!) that he enacted, his thoughts, laughs, and cries were all done in a way that makes us adore Gus more than we originally did.
The team behind the screen also deserves their share of praises since the directing, editing and cinematography were all remarkable. The soundtracks for the movie were carefully picked and they suited their respective scenes.
Hazel and Gus’ story was not a sob story although it involved cancer. Mr. Green made sure that his book would be nothing that involved cancer sufferers who begged for your sympathy. Hazel and Gus are about survival. They are all about fighting to make the most of what they got. Although we may not be cancer patients, Hazel and Gus are a part of who we are and a part of who we want to be. They find pure joy in each other’s company and eventually pure love. They challenged real battles that we face and no matter how little hope they have, they still tried to make the best of it.
The thing that made Hazel and Gus feel so real to me is the fact that they are imperfect characters who you can relate to. However, Ansel and Shailene had done a perfect job in making all of us viewers, even for those who aren’t familiar with the book, feel warm and fuzzy inside.