John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars is a tragic story of 16 year old Hazel Grace Lancaster, who suffers from thyroid cancer which has made its way to her lungs but Hazel eventually made peace with the fact that she can never have a normal life and coexists with her illness. The plot of the story pretty much revolves around Hazel's illness, her coping mechanisms and characters contributing their bit to it. Regardless of her parents’ constant efforts to make her take interest of what’s left of her life, she chooses to stay aloof until she meets Augustus Waters. Augustus Waters a.k.a Gus, is a survivor of osteosarcoma. Full of life and with the zest to enjoy life’s little pleasures, Gus turns out to be a breath of fresh air to Hazel’s life which she constantly thinks is at a deadline. The story is a perfect depiction of bittersweet melancholia as it takes its readers through the lives of these two cancer-afflicted people who fall in love with each other and depicts how love changes the worst of us.
The history of cinema remakes often witnessed some terrible movie adaptations of the original book’s plot line that killed the very essence of the novel but The Fault In Our Stars movie went quite hand in hand with the book and portrayed the complex emotions of grief and gratitude just as beautifully as the words from the chapters. The movie, directed by Josh Boone starring Shailene Woodley as Hazel and Ansel Elgort asGus is near perfect in every aspect. The actors have done an amazing job in delineating all the emotions perfectly in the movie while holding on to the body language of a terminally ill patient. Besides the main cast, Laura Dern as Hazel’s mother is a phenomenal beauty to watch despite her character being a supporting one. She adds a different kind of depth to the movie from a third person’s perspective which adds more strength to its heart-breaking concept. William Dafoe as Van Houten manages to depict the cruelty of a man shredded by life’s suffering is another marvel factor. The sheer beauty of the movie is in its austerity which is commendable and makes it both relatable and exceptionally felt despite not sharing the same feelings as Hazel and Gus, two cancer patients.
The whole Amsterdam episode where Hazel and Gus go to meet the author of their favorite novel to find out about the ending is displayed with immaculate childlike innocence by both actors. It’s so beautifully presented in the movie that it captivates its viewers such that we start living the movie the same as the two main characters. However, with all the tell tales of its perfection, let’s not forget how the only thing that the ending of the movie forgot to incorporate the book is a crucial part. The letter Gus wrote for Hazel in the book is a tad bit different in the movie. The authenticity of the letter was its soul and it should’ve been retained because it would justify all what the viewers felt, in the most accurate manner. It leaves the feeling a little incomplete and underwhelming. Otherwise, the movie has managed to capture all the small and big moments in the best way it could.
The story of Hazel and Gus is one such story which will leave you teary-eyed with a smile on your face. The love Hazel and Gus have for each other is in the purest form love can be, devoid of expectations, unconditional. You’ll have a different meaning for the word ‘okay’ after you’ll acquaint yourself with The Fault In Our Stars. You’ll witness friendship, love, trauma, grief, happiness, all sorts of emotions in this one story.
You’ll wish for the story to end differently, you’ll dread to watch/read the ending but guess what, “the world isn’t a wish granting factory”. Once you finish the book, you’ll want to escape the pain but “the thing about pain is that it demands to be felt” and you’ll feel it, so much that it will become gut wrenching at one point. To know that there is so much to feel as a human, and you discovered that through a story is a wonderful experience to witness. So, keep a box of tissue nearby because you’ll need it very much while living the forever Gus gave Hazel within the numbered days. (to get the references, you’ll have to read and watch, hurry!)