Sunday, 6 July 2014

Film Review - The Fault In Our Stars

Sob story

Film: The Fault In Our Stars
Cast: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Laura Dern
Directed by: Josh Boone
Duration: 2 hrs 6 mins
Rating: * * 1 / 2

"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings" said Cassius to Brutus in Julius Caesar and this line was the inspiration for the title of the bestseller by John Green. The story is about terminally ill teenagers in love and I haven’t read the novel, the film though treads on expected lines. Love and death has tremendous potential for emotional manipulation and The Fault in Our Stars milks every drop of it.

If a bucket was kept under the screen where this film is showing, it would be overflowing with emotion in less than sixty seconds.       

Hazel (Shailene Woodley) is a teenager who has lung cancer and she has to wear the tubes and carry an oxygen tank with her.  In her own words she is a grenade that might go off any time. When her mother (Laura Dern) takes her to a support group she meets a charming young man Augustus (Ansel Elgort of Divergent fame) who lost one of his legs to cancer. The two hit it off immediately and before you know, she is besotted by him.  But she can’t go full throttle because the inevitable is lurking at the back of her mind. 

Gradually their relationship blossoms, especially when they take a trip to Amsterdam where they meet her favourite author (Willem Dafoe) but that encounter doesn’t go as expected. That part of the film is by the most sparkling.

The film has its moments when it is lightweight and the chemistry between the two lead players is terrific. But the story moves at snail’s pace and precious little happens for long passages.  The ultra manipulative finale made me squirm in my seat and you want their and your ordeal to end.

The acting is splendid and binds the film – Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley particularly is first rate while veteran Willem Dafoe gives a memorable performance in a cameo. 

If you are the type whose lacrimal glands get influenced easily, then The Fault In Our Stars is something you will relish. 

Published in The Navhind Times on 6th July 2014

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