As lights dimmed in the aged Egyptian Theatre, one thought, which had come about numerous times, shoved its way into my over-excited head. What if this movie is terrible? One detail that needs mentioning is this: The Fault in Our Stars, written by John Green, is by far the most beautiful book I will ever read. It features young love, pain, hope, humor, and above all, happiness.
With my new TFIOS themed tank top on, I was ready to laugh and to cry; through my eyes, this movie would not only make my day, but so much more. Upon reading the book, I found that John Green demonstrates a theme that is difficult to teach through a camera lens: the inevitability of suffering, both physically and emotionally on the three main characters, Hazel, Augustus, and Isaac.
So all of the theater lights went off, and the crowded auditorium hushed with anticipated elation. All that could be heard were the fidgeting taps of hands and feet as the Twentieth Century Fox logo played. The movie began, and the main character, Hazel, played by Shailene Woodley, amazed us all with her sarcasm and oxygen-bound troubles while Ansel Elgort, who played the star-crossed love of her life, wooed every girl in the audience as Augustus Waters. Not only did screenwriter and director Josh Boone check off the physicality for all of the books themes, but the mentality, too.
An important motif demonstrated in this book and film is existentialism: Hazel and Augustus question why they are existing and what the point of life is if they will die anyway of terminal cancer. As these teenagers slowly fall in love, the answer to the “point of it all” comes clear: they exist to love one another, to be loved by their families, and to make the best of life even if cancer is slowly taking over. Their solution to this conundrum is what makes me, as the reader and viewer, fall in love with this work and truly feel every word spoken in the movie.
I dared not avert my eyes from the screen because every single scene was so engaging. From Hazel’s first jolting car ride with Augustus to the threat of her approaching death, the cast does an astounding job of channeling all of the raw emotion that develops into this two hour movie. There is not a specific age of audience that this title addresses, unlike the hit series, Twilight, or the post-apocalyptic stories that certain people enjoy. This story is human and real; there are no guns or nerves-of-steel heroes to help prove a point, and without that, I can connect to their thoughts and feelings as a human being, not a frickin’ cyborg. Parents step into the shoes of Hazel, Augustus, and Isaac’s parents as they witness the challenge of preparing to let go of your terminally ill child or having already done so. Young and old viewers learn what love has in store and how hard it is to accept our fate. Therefore, the beauty that is the novel, The Fault in Our Stars, was applied to the film adaptation with the nicest, most specific touch.
Written by Rhiannon L. Ross, contributing author