Film Review: The Fault in Our Stars

As far as book adaptations go, you won’t find one much more faithful than The Fault in Our Stars. Some characters are cut, and little details that are particularly enjoyable on the page may be missing, but everything that made John Green’s novel such a success is very much alive in the Josh Boone directed movie.

While it may be a story about cancer, the narrative takes a backseat to the chemistry between Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort as Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters. They portray two very believable teens dealing with something life changing, and have a natural rapport with each other that feels as real as anything you might have with your pals. Augustus’s dramatic flair (and tone) means that lines in the book which sound both wonderful and cheesy simultaneously somehow manage to translate to screen without the viewer cringing their face off.

Willem Dafoe’s Peter van Houten is suitably loathsome and, like any other role Dafoe plays, captivating, with an honourable mention to his rough whiskey soaked voice. Nat Wolff’s Isaac provides a lot of dark comic relief proving it’s possible to laugh through the tears, both for the characters and the audience. His stock is only going to increase when he stars in Green’s soon-to-be-adapted Paper Towns.

Whether or not you know the outcome, there is a tragic atmosphere about the movie from the off, and by now you already know that tears are inevitable. True enough, the cinema sounded like a bunch of chronic hay fever sufferers at the Botanic Gardens by the end. Woodley and Elgort have created an immortal love story in The Fault in Our Stars – it is a damn sad movie, but you will also laugh and feel warmed by their journey. Okay?

[Scott Wilson]

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