The Fault in Our Stars (2014)
Fangirls and fanboys everywhere, get your tissues at the ready for the year's most gut-wrenching, heartbreakingly beautiful film adaptation that is 'The Fault in Our Stars' by John Green — a.k.a. the writer that's changed the meaning of the word “Okay” since 2012.
Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, most known for their agape love (emphasis on agape) in 'The Divergent Series' as syblins Tris and Caleb Prior, return to the big screen as Hazel Lancaster and Augustus Waters. They play two star-crossed lovers that share a passion for books, life with its flaws and arguably quite an exacerbated wit. But not to worry Initiates, as both of their onscreen transformations: Shailene's short hairdo as well as Ansel's wooden leg, not to mention their stellar performances, help bury all thoughts 'incestuous'.
The Fault in Our Stars tells us of the painfully honest but truthful life of Hazel Grace Lancaster (so painful even she apologises before the film begins with a “Sorry!”). Sixteen-year-old Hazel suffers from terminal cancer. She carries around her life support named Philip, that to us mere humans, we may recognise as an oxygen tank. Gus, on the other hand, has been in remission for almost two years and sports a prosthetic leg. Together, these two embark on a journey of friendship, love and discovery.
From the moment we lay eyes on Hazel and Gus, all thoughts 'divergent' are thrown out the window as both Woodley and Elgort completely embrace the instant connection and undeniable chemistry that is established in the book between these two. It begins with his blatant staring during support group, then their open exchange on “oblivion”, and before you know it, they're exchanging novels and fleeing the country.
Although the film was an altogether great adaptation of the book, there were a few shortcomings, including the omittance of the character Kaitlyn: Hazel's fashion crazed friend from school who educates her on all things cool and hip. Another thing that may bother readers in this adaptation of the film is that Gus doesn't confess his love for her in the plane (immediately after she recites him a poem) instead, he does this at the restaurant in Amsterdam, which is evidently very romantic. Doing so, however, almost led the film to being a little cheesy, which is far from what The Fault In Our Stars is.
Nevertheless, director Josh Boone redeems himself as he excellently captures the momentum of the story; the film flows smoothly from scene to scene just like the novel. With a scene-stealing performance from Nat Wolff (soon to be seen in Paper Towns) and a great script with the perfect mix of humour, drama and romance, 'The Fault in Our Stars' really brings to life, the excitement of being young, in love and spontaneous.