Movie Reviews

'The Fault in Our Stars': Young lovers with old souls

By Wang DexianMovies - 18 June 2014 6:00 AM

'The Fault in Our Stars': Young lovers with old souls

Our Rating

4/5 Stars

‘The Fault in Our Stars’, an adaptation of the novel of the same name by John Green, stars Shailene Woodley as Hazel Grace Lancaster and Ansel Elgort as Augustus Waters as a pair of star-crossed lovers. The two played siblings previously in ‘Divergent’.

The book has been adapted by writing duo Scott Neustadter and Michael H Weber (‘500 Days of Summer’, ‘The Spectacular Now’) and is directed by Josh Boone (‘Stuck In Love’).

Hazel is reluctantly forced to attend a cancer patient survivor support group at her parents' egging. Due to her thyroid cancer, her lungs are weak and she has to depend on a portable oxygen tank to breathe properly.

After a few uninspiring sessions, she spots Augustus, who is there to support his buddy Isaac. Augustus, after his ordeal with bone cancer, has had his leg amputated, but is now cancer-free.

The two strike up an easy friendship and agree to read each other's favourite novel, setting up the stage for what will be a difficult and often-complicated romance.

There is something quite remarkable about ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ that shines through even on first viewing. It is a very old-school Hollywood style melodrama, packaged as a “Young Adult” romance film for the modern age. 

Even then, it is a film that is not just solely focused on the defining romance that is taking place, but very much touches on the heroism of cancer survivors (and the people around them) as they live their lives. 

GOING AGAINST TYPE

In the film, Hazel basically denounces the cliches propagated by iconic ’80s teen movies such as ‘Say Anything’ (1989). 

Being from the writers of ‘500 Days of Summer’, you get the feeling that Neustadter and Weber are trying to replicate the “anti-romantic comedy” effect of ‘500’.

It can be grating at times as the characters seem to deliberately go against type. However, it also pays off as the movie is much more uplifting, and filled with humour and truth despite what could be a tricky and slightly emotionally manipulative narrative.

GREAT CHEMISTRY 

Much of the film's success lies with the two leads, who have remarkable chemistry.

Woodley and her recent work in ‘The Descendants’ and ‘The Spectacular Now’ have established her as one of Hollywood's most naturally likable actresses in recent years. 

She has a calm, graceful presence on screen and the ability to be believably authentic in almost all situations, delivering on the emotionally charged scenes.

Co-star Elgort has a likable and confident charm, and when that easy-going vibe eventually fades away in the film, he turns it up a notch or two even in anguish.

While viewers are aware that this classic tearjerker will play with their emotions, they will still love the overall package of warmth, humour and sincerity.

It captures that weird phase that someone with a terminal disease goes through as they are caught between life and death.

‘The Fault in Our Stars’ opens in cinemas 12 June 2014

The fault In our stars

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The Fault In Our Stars
  • The Fault In Our Stars

    (2014)
  • Rated
    PG13 /
    Genre
    Comedy, Drama, Romance
  • Language
    Eng
  • (3 Reviews)