The Fault in Our Stars: Film Review

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Everyone knows going into this that you will sob like a baby. It is emotional, it is powerful but it is very good. Going into a film about a love story between cancer sufferers, you have an idea how it will end but you still know the journey is going to be tough. Luckily for me, I had read John Green’s book so nothing was a surprise. I think this helped me keep my dignity in the cinema.

Shailene Woodley plays Hazel, who has cancer in her lungs and falls in love with a guy she meets in support group, Augustus (Ansel Elgort), who has a prosthetic leg. They bond instantly as they share the same view on life and the mutual bond of a book. Augustus tracks down the author and they plan a trip to meet him in Amsterdam, although he is not what he seems. Then tragedy strikes…

A Fault In Our Stars

There isn’t a huge plot but the story is mainly about their unsentimental view of illness, how their love gradually grows for each other and how Hazel is hesitant about getting into a relationship when she’s so sick. What I like about this movie is how different it is tonally to other ‘sickness’ films. Hazel and Gus have so much personality and refuse to be dragged down by their situation. It isn’t too soppy, it isn’t overly sentimental and Hazel doesn’t take any shit. She is more concerned for her parents than herself.

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I cannot fault this to be honest. It is so loyal to the book, I even recognised some lines. They just got rid of some of the more gruesome aspects of illness and some things that didn’t matter so much. The Amsterdam scenes just look amazing and make me want to go back. But what makes it is the leads. There were so well cast – the chemistry between them is great and the emotional range is impressive. They can be laughing one moment and crying hysterically the next. Ansel is definitely going to become the new teen heartthrob after this.

Try this at your peril. If you haven’t read the book and have no idea how it ends, you are in for an emotional battering. If you’re worried about tearing up in public, perhaps wait to this comes out on DVD.

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