The Fault in Our Stars is a story about learning to live, love and let go. The love that is shared between the two main characters, Hazel Grace (Shailene Woodley) and Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort) is whimsical, dark and sometimes nihilistic. Their love tugs on your heart strings at the beginning then pulls them a little further every few scenes.
Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort have brilliant chemistry as they also star in the Divergent series together. It doesn’t feel forced or too rushed and their relationship is paced respectively for a young adult film.
The story follows Hazel Grace as she is diagnosed with cancer at age 13. Her companion throughout her life is her oxygen tank; supporting her wherever she goes. However, that is until Augustus Waters shows up at a support group meeting. Naturally, they fall in love.
“I fell in love with him like falling asleep; slowly, then all at once.”
Augustus Waters’ affection for Hazel seemed almost unstoppable and slightly cheesy, as expected of a movie boyfriend in a YA film. The character that Ansel portrays is often flamboyant and somewhat attention stealing, but Woodley’s portrayal of Hazel is nothing short of brilliant, embodying Hazel like I imagined her to be.
The film plays on the themes of death, pain, love and hope, with the characters often showing their anger towards the lives that fate has handed to them. Comedic relief is found in Nat Wolf who plays Augustus’ friend Isaac. Though he has a small part in the film, Wolf acts well and the audience laughed at the right times.
“They don’t kill you unless you light them. And I’ve never lit one. It’s a metaphor, see: You put the killing thing right between your teeth, but you don’t give it the power to do its killing. A metaphor.”
Hazel and Augustus’ relationship eventually takes them to Amsterdam, in search of answers from the author of their favourite book. Eventually leaving disappointed and angry, Augustus’ revelation spirals the film into the last and final act which is followed by nothing but tears, lip biting and admitting to yourself that you’re not crying.
Whilst the film tugs on your heart, the emotion becomes amplified by the bitter-sweet soundtrack that accompanies it. Featuring artists such as M83, Birdy, Kodaline & Ed Sheeran, the score compliments the events on-screen perfectly.
If you are looking for something that will make you happy, don’t watch it – I repeat, do not watch this film. However, if you’re looking for a film that lets you ponder about life, your friends and your family, and that may or may not make you cry, then give it a go.
In cinemas in Australia June 5.
IMDB Rating: 8.7/10