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.