By Peter Ede (Bexhill-On-Sea)


These types of films aren’t usually the ones I would watch due to modern directors feeling like they should make films simply because they feel they have to. However, my opinion has probably clouded my chance to witness some actual good films in the romantic drama genre, funnily enough, this film was one of them. The film was different as it had a powerful moral and raised a public statement about people with medical illnesses still being able to do what everyone else can. I thought it being a tragic love story made this statement more powerful as audiences could respond to it in a more understanding way, usually because it’s something that they have experience in. It was produced well with a lot of help from the cinematography containing all the expressions of different characters, especially in Hazel. Also, the different chronological scenes placed together helped to bring a moving yet happy film for the audience. In this film, we follow two people, Hazel and Augustus who have or are going through medical illnesses. When they hang out more, their relationship grows and they feel they’re the only ones who understand each other when handling their own conditions.

There were many iconic scenes in this film which made me think of the way society is when it comes to treating people with illnesses and how they feel. However, the scene that stood out to me was after Hazel and Augustus first met in the church and they were waiting for Hazel’s parents to pick them up. Augutus’ action with the cigarette in his mouth and saying “you put the thing that kills you right between your teeth but you never actually give it the power to kill you.” I thought that this was very clever as it got me thinking about society as well as what could happen in the narrative of this film. Reading between the lines, Augustus says how things can never actually kill you unless you let it which is a symbol of the lighter lighting the cigarette. As well as this scene, others were very emotional and scary to witness such as Augustus’ death or Hazel having to go to hospital suddenly when she found she couldn’t breathe.

In this film, two characters interested me and those were Hazel and Augustus. Considering they both have shared the same experience of a life threatening illness, I loved how they both immediately related to each other but had that feeling in the back of their minds that they could hurt each other due to their illness suddenly reappearing. Augustus, in this film for me was the ghost of reasoning as he always used funny metaphors and similes to explain his life story. Hazel immediately understanding them shows the bond these two characters have. Hazel is the shy teen who hasn’t had the chance to be her own person due to her parents constantly worrying about something happening to her. She is the realist in this film and is very down to earth whilst Augustus likes to live on the edge which later links to because he knows he is dying which definitely surprises the audience.

The cinematography in this film was very fast paced considering the film is about a slow building love story. However, it worked in a way that opposed all laws of cinematography. I didn’t think that shots lasting no more than approximately two seconds most of the time in this film could match this genre but with everything going on with the trip to Amsterdam and showing the life they both live, it was the only technique they could use and the director pulled it off well. The use of close up shots are extremely vital in my opinion to the romantic drama genre as facial expressions are what connect the audience to the condition of the character which is indeed the director’s intentions as well as it helping the film improve in quality. The Fault in Our Stars captures Hazel’s facial expressions which indulge the screen, leaving the audience no choice but to feel the emotion given off from it which I particularly enjoyed about the framework in this film.

Like I mentioned before, this film not normally being a film that I would watch, surprised me with its ingenious narrative distinguishing itself from usual love stories. Hazel and Augustus are portrayed emotionally to the audience whilst maintaining the realism of the statement they make about medical illnesses affecting people. The cinematography remained fast paced as the film progressed which worked well and was a good use of direction from Josh Boone to produce a very powerful film which I enjoyed watching. I will definitely check out more of the romantic drama genre and will do more reviews on them. Thank you, The Fault in Our Stars.

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