The Defect in Our Luminous Orbs
Did The Fault in Our Stars rock or suck?
Article: Michaela Solomon
Just as all the buzz surrounding The Fault in Our Stars has begun to die down, it’s time to get our thoughts out in the open about the rights and wrongs of the movie with reference to the book.
I found that The Fault in Our Stars was a much-needed break from the usual fantasy/adventure books that have taken over the Young Adult scene.
With all the success and fanfare generated by Twilight, The Hunger Games, and Divergent, it was a good change of pace to read and watch a love story: a love story that was not a Nicholas-Sparks-same-story-every-time-with-a-different-title type deal.
As for the book itself, I read it for the first time about two years ago, and my impressionable sixteen-year-old self, much like every other girl who stumbles across author John Green’s work, worshiped it like the Bible.
I certainly was not squealing in the back of the theatre on opening night of the movie, but my feelings towards the novel and the success of the movie have been pretty positive.
When I finally saw the movie, I felt satisfied, which was not what I expected. Anyone who religiously falls in love with novel after novel knows that it is utterly the most terrifying news to hear that one of your favourite books will soon be accompanied by a movie version.
The chances of a movie, AKA another person’s vision of YOUR favourite book, living up to your expectations are usually pretty slim. In the case of the The Fault in Our Stars, I was pleasantly surprised.
I felt as though Shailene Woodley (Hazel) and Ansel Elgort (Gus) both did well in their roles. I could argue, though, that Nat Wolff’s performance of Isaac stole the show, particularly in the “Night of the Broken Trophies” scene, as Hazel so refers to it in the book.
Altogether, the best scene of the movie was the visit to the Anne Frank house, which I did not expect to turn out so well. For anyone who saw the movie, you may remember how, as Hazel struggles to breathe as she climbs the stairs, the muffed voice of Anne Frank can be heard in the background saying things that were all to relevant to Hazel’s own emotional turmoil.
Although we fought back, that scene brought my roommate and me to tears.
Also, I found the final scene was very beautifully done, as well. Cheers to everyone who worked on putting the movie together, because I, and many other fans, were blown away.
I felt that the movie overall followed the book very closely, leaving out only one major plot device. Gus’ girlfriend, who lost her life to brain cancer, was very important to the story.
I felt like Gus could have been seen as an ignorant character and somewhat selfish for his lack of respect for Hazel’s reservations towards their relationship, which was explained in the novel by his past experience of losing someone he loved.
I also thought both the book and the movie lacked a good sub-plotline. While Isaacs’s story was good and provided the comedic relief needed in this type of story, I think it could have been taken a little farther.
I did think the movie focused too much on the here-and-now-cancer-all-day-every-day aspect of life, whereas the book, which is narrated by Hazel, has a lot more to do with her reasons for her relationship reservations (which believe it or not, go a little deeper than the ‘I’m a grenade’ scene).
My final thought has to do with the cigarette metaphor that is so loved by teen girls everywhere. I HATE it. It made my skin crawl, it was an awkward scene in the movie, and I didn’t like it. It distinguished Gus in a pretentious light, which was obviously on purpose.
I should say, I don’t hate the cigarette metaphor. I just hate when it’s explained. It was awkward when they talked about it, but it made the movie what it was supposed to be I guess.
Whether you hated the movie and loved the book, or whatever combinations you deem appropriate, I hope you enjoyed my little rant of the slightly overrated film.