Movie Review: The Fault In Our Stars (2014)

Fault In Our Stars movie still

Twilight meets 50/50… but bearable

If you’re a Nicholas Sparks fan, you would likely enjoy this film. Based on John Green’s novel, The Fault In Our Stars is a tale of romance between an independent-minded, “more mature” 16 year-old girl named Hazel (like Bella, Juno, etc. in all these film with a teenager as the protagonist), who has thyroid cancer spread to the lungs since she was little, and Gus, who’s a cancer survivor after amputating his leg. They meet and fall in love at a support group, she goes to his house even though they’ve just met, and then they begin a journey to fill one another with life.

It starts off cheesily, with Hazel reluctantly goes to a cancer support group and bumps into Gus who sweeps her feet almost instantaneously after a round of the annoying “Twilight stares” and corny conversations. I almost walked out of the cinema when he puts a cigarette in his mouth and says that it is a metaphor, that it’s in his mouth but it can’t kill him unless he allows it to by lighting it up. I find it quite offensive that the character, Isaac, Gus’ friend who got blind from cancer, is used as comic relief.

Fault in our Stars blind movie still meme

The film does not depict much of the physical sufferings, issue with conventional treatments, and the sacrifices and hardship of the victims’ parents. But I liked how the film encourages audience to continue fighting in spite of the pain and just do what your heart wants, and be prepared to embrace the dead end when all is lost. The story gained a bit more of my respect when Hazel’s idol novelist Peter Van Houten (played by Willem Defoe), where it tells the audience that your idols may not be how you think they are. Although I didn’t laugh that much to the jokes, I do appreciate that some of the conversational humour are actually smart. The story is also an effective tearjerker towards the end, I believe I was the only person in the entire cinema hall who didn’t cry.

Gus, who strikes me as a handicap who’s desperately looking to get laid (the characters make a bit of a deal out of being virgins) at the beginning, is played by Ansel Elgort who does not standout with his performance here, but his colleague from Divergent (2014), Shailene Woodley, does, with a convincing and heartbreaking display as Hazel.

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What I would’ve named the film: “The Fault Of Our Governments & Media” (read up about how cannabis is apparently anti-cancer)

Censorship in Malaysia: Seen it at a special screening by 20th Century Fox Malaysia 2 weeks before the film even premiered in the US. The kissing, boob-groping and vulgarities might be censored when it goes through the local film censorship board.

Second opinion: My girlfriend liked the film, she was crying towards the end.

Verdict: Wouldn’t recommend this to any cancer patients, but I would definitely rather see teenagers talking about this film, and rooting for it to win awards, than the usual bullshit that they go nuts about these days.

Rating: 3 / 5

Fault In Our Stars movie poster malaysiaBased on: John Green’s novel “The Fault In Our Stars”
Rated: P13
Genre: Romance, comedy, drama
Running Time: 126 mins
Director: Josh Boone
Screenwriter: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber
Cast: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolff, Laura Dern

Malaysia Release Date: July 17th 2014
Local Distributor: 20th Century Fox Malaysia
Studio: Temple Hill Entertainment

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