The much-anticipated adaptation of John Green’s bestseller does not disappoint.
There must be few people who have not heard of John Green’s novel, The Fault in Our Stars, a book which tells the story of Hazel Grace Lancaster, a teenager with terminal cancer, and her relationship with the extraordinary Augustus Waters.
The long-awaited film adaptation, starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort is faithful to the story, and, like the book, pulls no punches in its depiction of heartbreak, happiness, and the unfairness of life.
Hazel (Shailene Woodley), has lived with a terminal cancer diagnosis for three years. She lives her life trying to keep her parents happy, until she meets Augustus (Ansel Elgort) at a cancer support group. His unique outlook fascinates Hazel, and the two begin a relationship.
However, as viewers are warned in the opening sequence, life is not just a story about ‘beautiful people learning beautiful lessons’, and that ‘pain demands to be felt’. Hazel and Augustus’ happy existence is rocked by their illnesses, and they discover that young love can’t really conquer all.
Shailene Woodley is at her best since The Descendants, and Ansel Elgort, who has recently risen to prominence, easily matches Woodley’s veteran acting talents. The two play beautifully together, and they keep the audience both laughing and crying throughout.
Even though Woodley and Elgort constantly steal the scene, the supporting cast are all excellent, especially Nat Wolff, who plays a young man dealing with the remission of his cancer at the cost of his sight and his girlfriend, and Willem Dafoe appears as a jaded genius, unable to cope with what life has thrown at him.
Director Josh Boone has crafted a beautiful soundtrack to the film that further bolsters his good work. It is only in the moments that seem slightly glossy or cheesy that the film loses its edge - such as when tourists applaud the famous kiss between Hazel and Gus in Anne Frank’s annexe. Despite this, overall the film is touching, not to mention tearjerking.
The Fault in Our Stars already had a loyal fanbase at its disposal, thanks to the success of Green’s novel. The film will undoubtedly bring in a new wave of support and love for Hazel and Gus, and spur discussion on its core issues.