Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort,
Laura Dern, Willem Dafoe

"They Don't Have Forever,
They Have Each Other"

Yet another best seller novel which was adapted into a movie. Both of which were much hyped and generated quite a frenzy from the fans. Of course, as usual I never read the book. I'm too cheap to buy books, I'm too lazy and/or I don't find the time to just stay put and read.

Having said that, neither am I, a person who goes for hyped up 'events'. Be it the newest restaurant that draws a long queue, or a novel that lands in the best seller lists. I would shun away from it - just because it is the latest trend and wait patiently till the hype subsides, then I make my move. Yet I keep myself informed and know all about the latest 'happenings' in town. 

"The Fault in Our Stars" as everyone knows is about two young adults with terminal cancer who fall in love. Hazel (Shailene Woodley) is young, smart and quite witty and walks around with a portable oxygen tank which eases the flow into her respiratory system given that she has only one lung.  While Augustus or Gus (Ansel Elgort) is the typical charming boy next door type with a pleasant smile and you wouldn't know he has cancer unless you are shown his prosthetic leg.

They met at a cancer support group and even though Hazel was put off by Gus' attitude - they eventually realize they are mostly in the same wave length when it comes to their attitude towards life. They exude a certain level of maturity which gives them strength to accept their fate without dwelling on their illnesses. But rather focus on living their lives to the best of their abilities.

I have a feeling this common bond would have been more palpable in the pages of the novel because I hardly felt any chemistry between them in the film. Shailene Woodley was a revelation though and I like her comfy style of acting in her role as Hazel. She made Hazel, an endearing character. Unfortunately, I can't really say the same about Ansel Elgort. He needs to attend more acting workshops to add more depth and dimension to his portrayal.

Naturally any type of love story, be it tragic or not would draw in the crowds. I can see how such a plot would appeal to a wide spectrum of audience. But I'm now too sarcastic to get swayed merely by the love story angle. That is why I like the part where Hazel and Gus go to Amsterdam to meet their favorite yet reclusive author. The guy turns out to be quite a jerk but I think that unpleasant encounter was a good 'conflict' which contributed to the personal growth of the two leads.

I also like how Hazel and Gus were not cut out as tragic characters but as 'normal' people who just happen to be in the terminal phase of cancer. Not to make light of their illness but they handled the aspect of dying in an acceptable and non offensive manner. Certainly not dwelling on something they could not control but celebrating life in all its glory, something we should all emulate!

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