Monday, June 9, 2014

Review: The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

Two cancer patients met at a support group session, became fast friends, and fell in love... setting things up for them to end tragically. Basically, that's the premise of The Fault in Our Stars, a movie adapted from the book of the same title by John Green.

I know a lot of people would be moved (even to tears, perhaps) by the romance between the two characters. For me, the tragedy that was of cancer patients Griffin and Phoenix was more difficult to watch because I felt that they've accepted their fate and were just spending as much time together before one had to leave to die alone. A Walk to Remember was also a difficult movie to see because the sick girl knew she was dying, she had warned the boy not to fall in love with her, and yet he still did (knowing full well eventually that she's dying). Hazel Lancaster and Augustus Waters, in The Fault in Our Stars, were also stricken by cancer but somehow saw the beauty of being alive and were able to travel on their good days. The sense of humor and optimism carried by these teenagers gave some hope that not all is tragic in cancer after all.

While I wasn't particularly moved by the two teenagers, I appreciated more the subplot involving the parents. See, there were three sets of parents shown in this movie: the Lancasters, Mr and Mrs Waters, and Peter Van Houten. The three of them were pictures of parents' reactions in the face of their children's impending death. Hazel's mom and dad were ever supportive, as if their world was revolving solely around Hazel. That is, until the dad jokingly told her that her parents were not sentimental people; perhaps, this was a first clue. Hazel's parents turned out to be preparing for their future loss by learning of ways to help other people going through the same difficulties. They might grieve the same way Augustus' parents did during his funeral but their world did not look like it would be filled with alcohol like Mr Van Houten's when he wasn't able to come to grips with his daughter's death.

Is it a good movie? I'd say yes.