The Fault in Our Stars film review

 The Fault In Our Stars

Based on the bestselling novel by John Green, if you don’t know The Fault in Our Stars, it is the story of a doomed love between two teenagers, Hazel, who has cancer, and Augustus, who is in remission. The book received rave reviews from big names, including The Book Thief author Markus Zusak. But is the movie, directed by Josh Boone, as fantastic and moving as the book?

The Fault in Our StarsFirstly, I must commend Shailene Woodley (Hazel Grace Lancaster), Ansel Elgort (Augustus Waters) and Nat Wolff (Isaac) on their awe-inspiring performances. While some of Elgort’s lines were slightly stiff, he acted in his rather difficult role as Gus with… well, with gusto! His body language was spot-on, always managing to convey the character’s emotions with a tilt of the head and a sparkle in the eyes. Wolff’s performance was right up there with the stars of the movie, even though he really only plays a side character. He was humorous without being too dramatic and obviously had some major dedication to the role (he even went so far as to wear completely dark contacts for some of the movie so that in reality, he couldn’t see). Woodley was emotional and truly moving, delivering her lines exactly, I am sure, as many imagined when reading the book.

This leads me onto another point, something which will make the movie a whole lot more enjoyable for fans of the book – many of the lines are taken directly, and I mean word-for-word, from the pages of the novel. If you’ve read The Fault in Our Stars, you’ll recognise many of the lines in the movie. If you haven’t read it then you’ll get to hear John Green’s beautiful lines in the comfort of the cinema!

One thing I found interesting about The Fault in Our Stars was some of the techniques used. An ideal example is at any point when Hazel receives a text from Gus. First, we see her phone telling us who sent the message and then the camera cuts to her face, reading the message. The words appear on the screen in cartoon-like bubbles, before popping and disappearing shortly after. This made for a lively way of making the movie seem a bit more fun, as well as showing us Hazel’s texts without us having to strain our eyes!

There were two things which left me feeling underwhelmed. One is Elgort’s line delivery. He seemed stiff at points, especially when quoting straight from the book. It was as if the character changed slightly between new lines and those contained in the novel. They almost didn’t fit, and so they seemed a bit out of place when Elgort tried to perform in a few scenes. Screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber are partially responsible here, for while they have done a great job trying to capture John Green’s style with new additions, the final product just doesn’t have quite the same feel as the novel.

There was one other detail which annoyed me, something which I feel was very important in the success of the novel – the emotional impact. As someone who has read the book I knew exactly what I was walking into, but I still thought I would be a sobbing mess by the end of it – much like I was at the end of the book. Truthfully I didn’t even feel slightly teary while watching the movie. I wasn’t the only seemingly heartless person in the cinema either – it looked like a lot of people didn’t get the emotional impact we were led to expect from The Fault in Our Stars. Afterwards, I spoke to somebody who had not read the book beforehand and they said that they “just couldn’t stop crying“. Maybe for non-novel fans it will be a tearjerker, but for me and a large number of others, it just didn’t quite tug the heartstrings as fans hoped it would. Honestly, it just didn’t leave me in tears as I had expected.

The Fault in Our StarsIn conclusion, The Fault in Our Stars was pretty amazing. As an emotional story about a love doomed from the very beginning, for fans of the book, you should see it. Even if you’re not and you’re looking for a tearjerker or simply an entertaining and funny film, then give it a chance. While there are a few pitfalls, overall it was a fantastic and moving film with a meaning: Life is short, and you never quite know what’s around the corner.

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