Sunday, 22 June 2014
'The Fault in Our Stars' Review (with GIF's!)
Hola readers! Today, I think you're all in for a treat. There's no doubt you've heard about all the buzz surrounding the new film adaption of John Green's renowned teen novel 'The Fault in Our Stars'. Given it's international popularity among adolescents, I found it only natural that I, being the owner of 'Teenage Fanatic' (and a teenager myself might I add), review this movie totally honestly. Did it live up to the hype? I suggest you continue reading for more answers.
I'm just going to put you out of your misery straight away, I really loved this movie! Again, I haven't read the book, so I can't talk about it in terms of comparison, but even just on it's own, the movie is seriously great. If you're in the mood for a fun, heart-warming rom-com then this most certainly isn't the movie for you, because I'm just going to warn you now, it's super depressing. However, this shouldn't really be a surprise to anyone, considering the movie revolves around a bunch of kids suffering from cancer, and those kinds of movies tend not to be particularly jolly.
To begin, why don't I give you a run down of the basic plot points. The movie focuses predominantly on the protagonist of the story Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley), a 16 year old girl with Stage 4 Thyroid Cancer and metastasis in her lungs. Her parents (Laura Dern and Sam Trammel) are convinced that she has depression as a result of the fatality of her illness, and therefore insist that she join a cancer patient's support group hosted by religious fanatic and cancer survivor Patrick (Mike Birbiglia). As you can imagine, this isn't exactly the most enjoyable experience, until of course quintessential love interest Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort) is introduced, an 18 year old suffering from osteosarcoma with an amputated right leg.
The wise-cracking teen originally only joins the group to support his blind long-time pal Isaac (Nat Wolff) who suffers from eye neoplasm, before he befriends Hazel soon after their first meeting. Throughout the film, the two gradually grow closer and, surprise surprise, eventually form romantic attachments. As their adoration for one another grows, so does their adoration for the book 'An Imperial Affliction' by reclusive author Peter van Houten (Willem Dafoe) who's recently relocated to Amsterdam.
A bunch of other stuff happens throughout the movie including a trip to the house of Anne Frank, the egging of Isaac's ex girlfriend's house and the confrontation of both Hazel and Gus's favourite author. What else goes down? You'll have to spend $14 on a ticket and discover it for yourself.
As you've probably guessed, this plot retelling has officially come to an end, as I highly suspect that I will receive death threats if I continue and accidentally divulge any important information.
As I said before, this movie was truly great. I mean, for one, I'm a stickler for amazing acting, and this movie was jam packed with it. Shailene really managed to capture Hazel's intelligently sarcastic demeanour in a way that never manages to verge on obnoxious, and Ansel's portrayal of Augustus's wit and charisma never disappoints. It's no secret that the film deals with a pretty heavy subject matter, but at no point does it feel like the actors or writers are shoving the message down our throats, nor are they treating it with disrespect. Everyone manages to strike an ideal balance between the two throughout the entire film, never making the audience feel uncomfortable or ridiculously awkward.
Surprisingly, the film isn't all doom and gloom. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's not exactly a comedy, but does it incorporate elements of humour? Most definitely. Before walking into the cinema, I had prepared myself for 2 hours of ultimate depression, yet that is not what lied ahead. Trust me, I'm not normally someone who laughs out loud in movies. Even if I find things funny, I'll generally just appreciate the humour and move on, but in this, believe it or not, I couldn't help but laugh at quite a number of scenes. Who would've thought that would happen in TFIOS? I'm just as surprised as you are.
There really was a lot to like about this movie. Going in, I honestly don't even know what I was expecting. Despite it's enormously widespread popularity (and my natural instinct to go against the grain), I never expected it to be bad or anything, however I just didn't know it was going to be as good and awesome as it was. Everything just seemed to have the finishing touches put on them to perfection, even down to the consistently appropriate soundtrack and cinematography. Plus, not to mention, there was an awesome tidbit shown from 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' while Gus and Hazel were watching TV, which just made me appreciate the behind the scenes team so much more for including that.
The only thing that managed to get on my nerves at times was the audience reaction. Seriously, it was a tad ridiculous. I understand fangirling, but hysterically wailing in the comedic parts of the movie? Why? Sure, there most certainly were sad, tissue-worthy parts of the movie, but I think those teenagers who were having a mental breakdown at the cinema need to learn to get their emotions in check, or at least pretend to be normal in public. To top it off, not only did people feel the need to loudly cry throughout the entire thing, but they also decided to comment on every single detail. For those of you who have attended 'Sing-A-Long-A-Sound of Music' before, it wasn't far off that. Whenever something vaguely romantic happened there'd be a chorus of 'aww', and if something verging on suspicious happened, there'd be an onslaught of skeptical 'ooh's. However, in terms of the actual movie itself, I have to say, there wasn't much to fault in 'The Fault in Our Stars' (see what I did there?).
It also seems that online, fan reactions have been ridiculously varied. Obviously it seems that the majority of people are of my opinion that the movie was show-stoppingly amazing, however, it seems some people (similar to the ones I was mentioning before), are now blaming this movie for ruining their lives and sending them into a spiralling depression. Well, you can't say they didn't warn you. Seriously, at the very beginning of the movie during Hazel's monologue she clearly apologises for the feels about to swarm all of the adolescents in the audience (sure she didn't use those exact words, but you get my drift). On the other end of the spectrum, it seems that fans have already been putting their creative juices to good work and making parody fan art. If you haven't seen the movie or read the book, the protagonists of the movie have this little catchphrase thing that they always say to each other throughout the film and novel.
Of course, fans have decided to alter this and make their own interpretation of it, which I have to say, I found pretty funny.
Seriously, I think even John Green would be totally on board with this fan adaption.
To sum up, I think this movie was truly awesome. It manages to take you through a whole range of emotions in only 2 hours, and relates the message to the audience in an earnest way. I can guarantee you that you won't be disappointed going to see this, as the amazing acting performances really are enough to fill the seats, and when combined with a whole other range of awesomeness, it really cannot help being phenomenal.. You definitely won't regret buying a ticket (which I urge you to do right away).
So that's officially the end of my review. As I say, I highly recommend you go see the movie right now. Okay? Okay. Til' next time . . .