The Fault in Our Stars as a book was admittedly one of the heartbreaking love story that I have ever read. Maybe I was just feeling sappy at that time, but I did shed some tears over the books. I’d rather attribute it to John Green’s eloquence and beautiful words, though. So when I heard the news that a movie adaption will be made, I was one of the pessimists who thinks the movie wouldn’t be able to convey the beauty of this story the way John Green’s words did. Not to mention the overhype was a total turn off. But it was…okay.
Hazel Grace (Shailene Woodley) is a stage 4 thyroid cancer survivor that prefer the companion of her oxygen tank and the Imperial Affection book rather than others her age. Upon her mother Frannie (Laura Dern) and father Michael (Sam Trammell) insistence that she should go out and make friends, she attends a cancer support group.
This is where she met Isaac (Nat Wolff), who had a tumor in his eyes, and his friend who suffer from osteosarcoma and now wear a prostethic right leg, Augustus Waters (Angsel Elgort).
I was pretty sure that this movie won’t be as good as the book, and the “you don’t have heart if this movie did not make you cry” commentaries that filled my timeline was just people overyhyping this movie as usual. And I was right, in a way, because I still prefer the book over the movie – there’s just something that pictures cannot convey the way words did. Also because the book give more lights to the friendship between Hazel and Isaac rather than making Isaac a third wheel that merely serves as a link between Hazel and Gus. Still, though, The Fault in Our Stars got me crying.
Now, just to be clear, I don’t like Hazel and Gus. I think they’re much too sappy and act like the typical angsty teenager whose world revolved around each other’s. Not to mention Hazel was a total bitch during the end of the movie and I basically hate her. I prefer Isaac more, with his wit and nonchalant attitude. But then again, this is the love story of Hazel and Gus, and I must admit that this movie portray it well.
I actually like how the movie keep the book initial upbeat pace and theme, instead of turning it into some sappy melodramatic sad love story. Sure, it still is a movie about angsty teenage love, but at least it was portrayed in positive vibe. The way Hazel, Gus, and Isaac handle their disabilities and terminal illness could brought shame to everyone. They’re the kind of people that you would like to meet in real life, that you wish to befriend and could look up to because the way they stay strong despite everything is just heartwarming.
Shailene Woodley was the star of the show, because she was cold and distant as Hazel in the beginning, simply lovely when Hazel bloomed with her love towards Gus, strong and heartwrenching during her time loss, and yet still sorta kinda annoying when she wept and mope around. That was what I felt towards Hazel throughout the movie, and I praise Shailene for her ability to become Hazel and show various sides of the human being that is Hazel Grace. Watching TFIOS got me seeing Shailene as Hazel and vice versa. Somehow, though, I can’t say the sama for Angsel Elgort. In my personal opinion, his performance as Gus wasn’t strong enough, although maybe that’s because I already had my own imaginaton of Gus and Angsel fell short of fulfilling my expectation. He was quite good, yeah, dorky and cute too, but still not as charming as Gus supposed to be.
On the other hand, my attention was stolen by a certain Nat Wolff. Nat as Isaac was just adorable, snarky with the right mix of dorky and pretty. Isaac’s appearances throughout the movie was a breather, a welcomed distraction from the Hazel and Gus’s relationship that feels suffocating at times. Maybe I’m a bit bias, but I personally think that the overall moods felt lighter everytime Isaac is around. But then again, you just can’t help but squeal over how cute Isaac’s friendship with Gus is. And do not forget the glorious Willem Dafoe as Peter Van Houten. I swear, he was my second favorite character after Isaac. He was just angsty and cynical and annoying and still you found him drawing you in. Also, Laura Dern and Sam Trammell was convincing as the kind of parents that you wish you could have. They’re just adorable together, and the way they support each other while taking care of Hazel is just heartwarming. They’re also pretty cool as parents, yet they could still brough tears to your eyes with their dedication, how they show you just how strong a parents’ love towards their child is. Admittedly, it’s one of their scene with Hazel that got me crying. Then the dam just sort of broke from there.
The Fault in Our Stars as a movie was not perfect. Some would think it’s too sappy, while some would praising it to no end. I personally think it’s a bit of both. It’s a good movie that showcased more than one type of love, but sometimes it could get too much. If you’re in the mood of some tearjerker, then I recommend this movie. I suppose it could brought about a tear or two, what’s with the pretyy dialogues, beautiful shots, and eargasmic soundtracks.
Director: Josh Boone. Writer: Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber. Released on: 22 August 2014. Casts: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolff, Willem Dafoe, Laura Dern, Sam Trammell.