Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

The biggest fault with this movie is simply this: for a story about two terminally ill teenagers in love, it was quite unable to move me. There is much to be said for a story about cancer that largely avoids mawkish sentimentality and is underlined with a gentle humour, but inspite its well structured foundations, there is something curiously lacking at its heart. Shailene Woodley gives a very good performance as the protagonist Hazel Grace but the actor romancing her (I couldn't even bother to find his real name) is unable to transcend what is allready a somewhat ridiculous too-good-to-be-true character. There's a curious inertia and airlessness to a story where the essence of time should have added velocity to the narrative.

One of the few scenes that does succeed on a purely dramatic level has a jerk of an author lashing out at the kids and how they've been pitied to the point of being spoilt all their lives. If nothing, it serves as a fascinating meta commentary on what the movie is doing to its own characters: young people with one foot in the grave get to fall in love with dreamily lit cinematography and well timed indie music. I'm not saying I needed more scenes of grim suffering and anguish - just that the movie was unable to communicate the heft of its very real stakes to me.  

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