I read The Fault in our Stars last year; it is one of the books I read because Goodreads said it was a winner in so-and-so-category (I have a bad memory; so the word “so-and-so” saves me a lot).
While reading the book (and this is solely my personal opinion), I thought that the writer could have used better prose when he had such a good storyline; also, I felt it was a tad bit longer and stretchy at times. I also remember chiding myself for reading books I would usually categorize under “teen fiction” or “sweet-romance-don’t-read-because-your-real-love-life-is-so-much-worse”. But then, the book kinda made up for all the faults with it (and you thought only stars had faults… hahaha… bad PJ!) , with all the pages that made me smile, made me feel good or made me cry to bits. I remember being teary-eyed and reading on, the words blurring and still I read until I devoured the entire book, up till the Acknowledgements page. (I always read the Acknowledgement page in books I like).
I didn’t give it much thought afterwards… until I recommended this book to a friend who, in turn, searched the web called the world-wide-web and figured that a movie was being made on the book. And I was like… WHAAAAAT!!! *the ecstatic what*
Suddenly, I couldn’t wait for it to be released. I watched the trailers and my eyes became moist and a large stone seemed to interrupt my throat’s pathway everytime I heard Shailene Woodley (Hazel Grace) say “Okay” at the very end of the movie trailer.
So, when one rainy afternoon, I finally managed to watch The Fault in our Stars, I braced myself with an entire tissue-box at an arm’s length and a single tissue already in my hand. But, you would understand my disappointment when I couldn’t drop a single tear during the entire 2hours and 6mins of it!
I don’t know what was wrong with me; my eyes did water when they showed the cute-looking 14 yr old Hazel Grace being diagnosed with cancer but it ended there.
This does not mean that the movie is bad or worse than the book. (It may mean my tear-ducts are de-sensitized).
The movie, almost… almost, as much as possible, stayed true to the book. Including the font-style and blue and white colors of the book-cover and the movie title. You know,
Now, that was something I liked.
I liked the casting too. And the fact that the movie took care of the little stuff, like placing Augustus’ bedroom in the basement (like it is in the book) and making Hazel Grace wear a blue dress for her dinner date. (But the restaurant was supposed to be at a pavement overlooking a canal, right? Just kidding… you can’t please the readers!)
But then, I do wish it showed more of Isaac because I felt I could have had a bit more of his dry humor or his story of loss… well, atleast they did justice and showed Isaac because they completely scraped off the part of Augustus’ ex-girlfriend (rem’ her from the book?) and her story with brain tumor. I get it… maybe four parallel cancer stories in one storyline would have made the script too melodramatic (if it wasn’t already).
The book is pretty long and filled with wonderful details which the movie did its best to capture. However, it did try to gloss over and snipped and snapped the book-scenes. One scene was Gus renting a limo to Hazel’s house when they are going to the airport. Wasn’t there an important scene snipped off? Like, Hazel and her mom going over to Gus’ place and overhearing Gus and his parents fighting (in the book, we later figure out that they were fighting about Gus and his stubbornness of going to Amsterdam soon after being diagnosed with cancer). And a LIMO?
They also cut-short Augustus’ struggle with cancer. It was kept to a bare minimum. It was like “he-had-cancer-and-he-died”. The book was more realistic.
And the next moment, you see Peter van Houlan in a Panama suit (atleast they got the Panama suit right!) at Gus’ funeral. Of course, in the movie, Hazel finds Gus’ eulogy to Hazel through an email that Peter brings with him to the funeral whereas in the book, it happened a bit differently (Peter never really changes and it’s his secretary who emails Gus’ letter to Peter as email attachments to Hazel). Anyway, the shorter the Peter van Houlen chapter, the better… though I did imagine him to be more drunk and loony/disoriented.
All in all, it was a movie destined to make all girls cry, especially in the age group of teen to twenties. However, as readers of the book, and maybe due to the fact that the readers have already had their quota of tears while reading the book, we knew where the story was headed and didn’t shed our precious tears. (So, you see, my tear-ducts are working pretty fine… just give me another emotionally-driven book and watch me…just load your pockets with tissues first!)
In the end, my movie experience could be summed up like this….