The Fault in Our Stars: Completely faultless

Published: June 18, 2014
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The movie delivers a heart-warming and poignant perception about love and loss at the same time. PHOTO: REUTERS

Based on John Green’s bestselling fiction novel of the same name, The Fault in Our Stars is profoundly a sweet, romantic, sensible, expressive drama expressed with warmth, poignancy and humour. It will definitely inspire you to contemplate and not give in to the grief and misery of your misfortune.

The title of both, the book and the movie, has been taken from Shakespeare’s famous play ‘Julius Caesar’ where the character Caesar says,

“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”

It is a heart-wrenching love story of two attractive, quick-witted and lively teenagers with dissimilar types of cancer who share their personal feelings, distress and joy, and build a strong bond of friendship that eventually converts into a lasting bond – an enduring love. The whole theme is about living, as William W Purkey puts it,

“Love like you’ll never be hurt,

And live like it’s heaven on earth.”

Photo: IMDb

Generally, directors and screenwriters change a book into a screenplay by just plucking some of the more ‘interesting or sparky’ dialogues and scenes from the novel to represent their work of art. Luckily, director Josh Bonne along with screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H Weber have managed to diminish the weaknesses by remaining loyal to the real theme of the book.

They have produced what was experienced, reflected and portrayed in the book in as much detail as possible. For that reason, the film managed to incite, in its viewers, the same emotions the book had managed to bring about so phenomenally.

Ansel Elgort, author John Green and Shailene Woodley on set. Photo: IMDb

As the movie opens, Hazel Grace (Woodley), an intelligent and beautiful girl, with stage four thyroid cancer struggles to retain an independent lifestyle while living with her parents (Laura Dern and Sam Trammell), who forced her to join a cancer support group. During one of the sessions at the support group, Hazel meets Augustus Gus (Elgort), a cancer patient in remission with a prosthetic leg.

Immediately attracted to a shy Hazel, the self-confident, cool and enthusiastic Augustus starts a friendly conversation and fascinates her with his great sense of humour and deep understanding towards her feelings. He unreservedly shared his aim to ‘live an extraordinary life’ and bonded with Hazel over her favourite book about living with cancer, ‘An Imperial Affliction’ written by Dutch-American writer Peter Van Houten (Willem Dafoe).

Photo: IMDb

With Augustus openly expressing his feelings, a unique connection between the two was formed. Both started feeling a deeper sense of affection towards one another and an inescapable reversion towards cancer.

The film portrays a witty, exhilarating and tear-jerking affair of being in love and living each day as it comes. They endlessly talk about their lives, circumstances, qualms and way of thinking towards life, their cancer experience, depressing moments and ultimately about death.

Photo: IMDb

But it’s not just a sad and teary experience. The comedy present is well-woven throughout, especially the trenchant witty but not sarcastic cancer jokes. The pace of the film is clear-cut but powerful and all the characters are perfect when most needed. Even the music, cinematography, props and make up are captivating. Every little detail is attended to and portrayed exceptionally.

Photo: IMDb

The film’s most heart-wrenching scene is the one in which shy and hesitant Hazel finally professes her inner feelings and love to Augustus.

“You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and for that I am eternally grateful.”

The on-screen chemistry of the lead pair in any romantic film is an essential part to depict the main theme of the movie. After Divergent, the on-screen chemistry between Woodley and Elgort is remarkable. Woodley brings together an electrifying performance with soreness, contrariness, acceptance and strength while Elgort presents superciliousness and susceptibility as a joyful admirer.

Photo: IMDb

The Fault in Our Stars poetically explains to us that simply being in love with a few, true and sincere people are enough to make one’s life meaningful and worthy. It delivers a poignant perception about love and loss at the same time.

The following dialogue pretty much sums up the epitome of the entire movie,

“The world is not a wish-granting factory.”

Photo: IMDb

All and all, I found no faults in this melodrama; it’s definitely a must-watch and comes highly recommended by… me.

Simply put, it’s the perfect tragedy that will make you laugh and cry at the same time, so get your tissue boxes ready.

Tanveer Khadim

Tanveer Khadim

An avid reader, freelance writer and a blogger, Tanveer is pursuing fashion designing. She has a passion for cooking, attended cookery courses and tweets as @TheFusionDiary (twitter.com/TheFusionDiary)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Aaqil

    Best ever film.Recommend

  • Rosy

    I just watched it excellent heartbreaking love story.Recommend

  • Rosy

    I just watched it excellent heartbreaking love story.Recommend

  • Shaheena

    The movie is very good I thoroughly enjoyed it without even reading its novel.Recommend

  • Raheel

    Good Review of a Good Film!
    I liked the honesty and emotion of Hazel and Augustus.Recommend

  • Roman Khan

    That was a good write-up particularly the way you described movie intro and Hazel’s emotional scene.Recommend

  • Mohsin

    Amazing book and nice movie to spend a little time.Recommend

  • Ash

    A really good synopsis with no spoiling for the movie’s end part. The story is a sad one told in a beautifully.
    I love Shailene Woodley’s acting and she completely out shines her costar in most of the scenes.Recommend

  • Rukhsar

    I recently read this novel my heart was broken. This is one of the better movie adaptation I have seen.Recommend

  • Sana Alamgir

    I liked your review and now can’t wait to watch it.Recommend

  • Sana Alamgir

    I liked your review and now can’t wait to watch it.Recommend

  • Naila

    Loved both the book and the film. Totally worth watching.Recommend

  • Samiyah Muneer

    Although the book was much better but movie itself is an amazing piece of direction that works on many levels.Recommend

  • Samiyah Muneer

    Although the book was much better but movie itself is an amazing piece of direction that works on many levels.Recommend

  • Mrs. Ahmed

    A nice review with accurate highlights. This movie is incredibly a perfect adaptation of a very beautifully written novel.Recommend

  • Real Guy

    The cast, cinematography, music, everything was great.Recommend

  • Ruqiyya

    The characters are very engaging, relateable that it’s heart wrenching to see them suffer and in pain.Recommend

  • Movie Lover

    Nicely written review and I agree no one can watch it with dry eyes. “The fault in our stars” is the best romantic movie of 2014 so far that I have seen in a very very long time.Recommend

  • Rakesh

    At times some of the scenes are like little forced, yet the impact towards end is marvelous. A realistic tone with hope makes it an awesome adaptation.Recommend

  • Talat

    @Tanveer,
    Saw it last night and I would love to watch it again, fine acting in a super romantic story.Recommend

  • Jawad

    Why women are so obsessed with just one genre, romance. Whether its the Notebook, a walk to remember or the fault in our stars, it’s just ordinary stuff if compared with movies of substance.Recommend

  • Nuzina

    A depressing and melancholic story relieved with timely humour, 10/10 marks.Recommend

  • Sabirullah

    The movie TFIOS could have been several times much better if director added the whole real letter from the book to Van Houten. The letter actually is a turning point to understand the purpose of the story.Recommend

  • Shalini Chawla

    We wish and fantasize to have same kind of relationship in reality and we think about how our life could be it was close to any romantic movie.Recommend

  • Shalini Chawla

    And mostly all romantic movies have really good calm music.Recommend

  • A

    Women usually like the emotion and love that a romance movie convey properly.Recommend

  • Khadijah Abrar

    This review is spot on. I enjoyed watching it and I have started it’s novel now after watching the film.Recommend

  • Gohar Navaid

    The picture “TFIOS” has a message for love, as you grow older you will experience the pain and sometimes the ones you love most will disappear.Recommend

  • Naziruddin Ahmed

    My wife and I saw The fault in our stars on Monday and let me tell you the truth we were mesmerized by it from the very start. We would like to nominate both leading actors for Oscars…..what a brilliant performance by them.Recommend

  • Amin Kamil

    Going to Anne Frank’s house is very artificial, it was included in movie in order to pour tears out of everyone to blackmail emotionally, anyone can fall for them.Recommend

  • Hamdullah Shaikh

    Astounding movie!
    Augustus said ” That’s the thing about pain, it demands to be felt “Recommend

  • A Qamar

    A beautiful story, everybody should watch it to feel the pain of cancer patients.Recommend

  • Radiyah Ikram

    Author is so right to take tissue box you are going to need them. It is one of the best and adorable movie you will ever see, Augustus Gus looks very charming in his character.Recommend

  • M

    Beautifully put up, you have increased my appetite to watch this movie.
    Thumbs Up!!
    Looking forward for more reviews from you on serious genre of movies.Recommend

  • Nobody

    Women can ask the same of men who are obsessed with cheesy, over the top action flicks (which I’m a fan of more so than romance as a matter of fact, but they aren’t movies of substance either). It’s entertainment.Recommend

  • Sha

    Definitely entertaining movie but emotionally very drainingRecommend

  • Crying Eyes

    @Writer
    I agree completely with what you said about tissue boxes :(Recommend

  • Rehana Yahya

    Emotionally charged film with good music. Worth Watching!Recommend

  • Hashim

    Thanks to author for an honest review. This is the best selection for summer entertainment!
    I felt that TFIOS kept me totally engaged throughout the movie and it was worth my time.Recommend

  • Abraham

    Me and my fiancee loved “The fault in our stars” and we are already trying to figure out a way to watch it a second time with the same concentration.Recommend

  • AQ

    “TFIOS” is one of the most anticipated summer movies of 2014.Recommend

  • Sara Sheikh

    I just finished TFIOS book in less than 4 days after watching movie TFIOS, with lots of laughing and crying, the story illustrated death and heartbreak very beautifully.Recommend

  • Sara

    It is an amazing book that everyone should read at least once. It is not for teenagers but for everyone whoever wants to go through some emotional tragic story.Recommend

  • Dania

    TFiOS movie is awesome, it is super hit all over the world.Recommend

  • chillipepper

    movie is good but you have written such a beautiful & sweet review. :)Recommend