It is no secret that I love John Green and his books. His last novel, The Fault In Our Stars is one of the best YA books I have read. I usually recommend the book to every reader I know. I love the book so much to the point that every time someone I know asked me what to read I will shoved to them my signed copy of the book to read. In fact, that copy is still with a friend, who I asked to read the book before seeing the film.
To be honest, I’m not sure what to expect for the movie adaptation. Yes, I am excited for the film, but at the same time unsure how will it goes. Movie adaptation is mostly miss than hit for me, especially for books I love dearly which makes me skeptical sometimes. But no matter what, I still make sure to see the films. So last night, I went with my sister to watch the movie during its first day of screening here in the Philippines.
The film is extremely faithful to the book which I really appreciate. It follows Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters, two teenagers who meet in a cancer support group. Hazel has thyroid cancer. Her “lungs suck at being lungs” so she wear a nasal tubes in her nose and drag around an oxygen tank everywhere she went. Augustus aka “Gus” is a survivor of osteosarcoma. He lost his leg during his battle but apparently he is in remission. He is determined to live — not just a life but an extraordinary one. He is full of life for a cancer patient and he wants to share that with Hazel.
Shailene Woodley as Hazel Grace Lancaster is so fitting for the role. I admire how she can easily captures a very conflicting character like Hazel Grace. She carry her strength and weakness every time she is on screen, making Hazel’s character so alive. As a cancer patient Hazel has this wit, and hope in her even after all the pain she went through, and Shailene shows all that and more. The way she deliver her lines has pain and strength which makes John Green’s complex lines from the novel convincingly powerful. If you have read the book like me, for sure you understand how big and powerful those lines are. They aren’t easy to deliver especially from a mouth of a teenager, but Shailene managed to deliver them with ease that I’m surprise that I’m not rolling my eyes or rising my eyebrows.
As for Ansel Elgort, well he got me with his grin right the moment he first show himself on big screen. Honestly, when I first heard that he was cast for the role of Augustus, I don’t believe he can own the role. He is too sweet for my liking, and Augustus in my mind isn’t like that. Augustus is cocky, confident and even idealistic but also pretentious. He is a human metaphor himself, masking his vulnerability with his self-confident. It’s his way of living his sick life or more specifically his fighting mechanism. But after seeing the film last night, I’m convinced that Ansel is the perfect Gus. He successfully deliver a good portrayal for Augustus. It isn’t what I initially want but seeing Gus character in action is still utterly enjoying. Ansel not only own the role for Gus but also makes Gus’ character incredibly sweet by pulling his charms.
To those who are worried about Shailene and Ansel’s team-up after being siblings from the film Divergent, rest assured that they made a great love team in this film. They are very convincing as a couple. Their chemistry is undeniable and surprisingly believable. They easily own the sweet young romance that evolved in the most unexpected time of two teenagers.
The film didn’t make me weep unlike when I read the book a couple of times, but it still makes me feel all the emotions I undergo through while reading. I still ache for Gus and Hazel. I smile and laugh with them along with all the movie goers at the cinema last night. I swoon and feel their love for each other and for their family and friends. I hope even I know long ago how their story will end.
The Fault In Our Stars easily the best contemporary book adaptation I’ve seen. With all the quotable lines from John Green’s novel, it is a thought-provoking story that will make you question everything you think you know about life, love and sickness. I will definitely watch again this film soon.