Rating: 2 stars
Cast: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolff, Willem Dafoe etc.
The Fault in Our Stars follows the life of Hazel Grace, a cancer patient with a morbid outlook on life until she meets a cancer survivor named Augustus Waters, a charming boy who shows her that they’re more than their sickness. It sounds like a match made in heaven and perhaps in heaven it would be but on earth it’s just plain sad. Buying a ticket to TFIOS is like a buying a one way ticket to Depression-ville because while it chokes you up, it certainly lacks in a strong plot.
Noted as a quirky young adult novel, the movie is exactly the same having remained faithful to the book what with John Green, the author of the novel, being involved with the making of the big screen adaptation. Yet what struck me most while watching the film was that is was the type of quirky that tried too hard to be quirky. That was TFIOS’ hamartia, if I were to be asked to name one.
Woodley and Elgort’s performances were average at the most, with no real chemistry on screen and passing as love struck teenagers by a very narrow margin. I believe Woodley could have done better. Willem Dafoe as the eccentric Peter van Houten was perhaps the highlight of the entire movie.
My criticism mainly stems from the fact that there were times when the plot was so slow the film could have been playing backwards, losing my interest only ten minutes from when it started. The over usage of the words ‘okay’ and ‘always’was sickening to hear and by the end, I was made to wonder what I saw in the book in the first place. I was even outraged at one point where Hazel and Gus kiss for the first time in the Anne Frank house and everyone around them began to clap. Yes, please clap for two people twisting tongues as opposed to appreciating a girl and her whole family’s ordeal through out the Holocaust. Please.
So what did I take away from TFIOS on walking out of the theatre? Exhaustion, depression, rage and the thought that it was over rated as did many others walking alongside me, whose snide conversations I happened to overhear and happened to agree with.
I would not recommend this movie to anyone unless they wanted to bawl their eyes out over ridiculous beautification of death and dying and a love story that tries too hard to be in a league of its own.
Well, it is in a league of its own.
The bottom most one.