“I feel in love with him the way you fall asleep: Slowly and then all at once”
“Some infinities are bigger than other infinities”- but I can assure you that there are no infinities bigger than the infinite tenderness I feel for the Fault in our Stars. A film so profoundly beautiful I had to fight my impulsion to blink, in fear that I would miss even a nanosecond of this tender and wonderfully intelligent love story.
“What’s your story?”… “Well I was diagnosed when I was 13…”… “No no no, your real story”. Fault in our Stars is a teen drama directed by Josh Boone and written by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber who are both also known for creating 500 days of Summer, another captivating love story with a twist. Fault in our Stars It tells the tale of a furiously intelligent 16 year old girl with thyroid cancer called Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shaliene Woodley). Hazel through counselling soon meets a charming young man who always seems to know all the right things to say called Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort), Augustus like Hazel is also suffering from cancer, but his is in his bones which has left him with one operation leg. But they are not drawn to each other because of their illnesses; instead they have begun to fall in love because they see the beauty in each other’s uniqueness and intelligence. This love for each other leads to Augustus to sacrificing his wish from a charity organisation to take Hazel to Amsterdam to meet the writer of the book she is obsessed with, Imperial Inflections and it’s here where their affections blossom even further . However life can sometimes be so unfair and thus the painful realities of their respective situations soon threaten to rip them apart.
Initially I was hesitant upon hearing that my favourite book The Fault in our Stars by John green was being adapted; in the pit of my stomach I felt an uneasy feeling that the film would water down the intelligence of the book, the queasy sensation that it would tread lightly around the reality of cancer and pessimism that the actors simply won’t do the character from the book justice manifesting itself deep in the pit of my stomach. However I was wrong, because the film was bold, uncompromising yet still had the time to be uplifting and teach you never to doubt the powers of love.
The film was every bit as intelligent as the book; challenging me to change the way I thought about about literature and the power for good it can bring to people’s lives and of course Fault in our Star was the first ever film I sit with a dictionary whilst watching. Cancer has been explored multiple other times in films such in my Sisters Keeper, but Fault in our Stars was the first film I saw that didn’t show it as something to be afraid of, something never to be talked about, something that can ruin lives. Fault in our Stars showed me that there is still life to be lived with cancer, a long beautiful life that you can share with the people you love and care about the most. While some other films may use cancer as a drama device; Fault in our Stars made you forget that these two individuals had cancer at all and instead focused on the fact that you were watching two amazing human beings finding real love for the very first time.
Finally, don’t let the title fool you; there is certainly no fault in these stars because both of their performances were scintillating. Watching Shaliene Woodley act, you could be forgiven for thinking you were watching Cate Blanchet or Hilary Swank at the peak of their powers, because she performs like she is a veteran actresses. But the astounding thing is she is only 23! Yet her tiny frame can still pack an atomic bomb size of emotion power into which she fluently wield on screen with subtly and the delicacy of a violinist. However don’t think Woodley gets all the plaudits, for I also felt Ansel did a fantastic job of reflecting perfectly the way Augustus is able to show strength as well as frugality almost in the same breath. Because of this ability to evoke such complexity yet pulling it off in a laid back charismatic manner, I wouldn’t be surprised to one day to see Ansel gracing the Best Acting category at the Oscars.
“I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within these numbered days, and I’m grateful.” Like the book Imperial Inflections, The Fault in our Stars serves up as a joyful antidote to disease and loss, by firmly reminding us that love is