Book, Film, Review

The Fault In Our Stars

Obligatory disclaimer – these are my thoughts, opinions and general ramblings on both the book and the film of The Fault In Our Stars; I haven’t given away anything major but I have referred to some minor plot points so if you’re trying to keep either version a surprise; firstly why are you researching it online and secondly, you may want to click away now.
Heart-wrenching novel gets turned into tear-jerking film, I think we’ve all seen this one before but this is aimed at a younger audience with a quite non-typical main theme.  On a serious note each time I’ve read or seen this it’s provoked genuinely emotion.
To give you an idea of the target audience – at 22 I think I was probably the second to oldest person in the cinema so points to the lovely mother who’d taken her daughter and double-bonus boyfriend points to the only male in the room.  I volunteer as a young leader at a guide unit (they’re 10 – 14) and a lot of this story has a lot of them fangirling just as much as the words ‘One Direction’.
It’s not a particularly long book, both times I’ve read this I’ve finished it in a couple of days however the film was over two hours and yet they left out quite a few characters and then switched around the sections they left in.  Characters were reciting conversations word for word but in completely different scenes which made me question how much attention I’d actually paid to the book – not that it changes the plot but if you’re a hard core fan I could see that being irritating.
One quite strange thing, why make them both a year older in the film? Did anyone else notice that? Was it to make the driving and/or the sex scenes more acceptable? Does it really make a difference if they’re 17 and 18 instead of 16 and 17?  At least if they’d of left the characters at their original ages they could of skipped around Amsterdam reciting songs from the Sound of Music.
I did feel that they played to the characters extremes in the film, in the film Augustus was perfection, even I fell a little bit in love with him watching that.  They also made Hazel out to be quite the whiner that did nothing but read before she met Gus. They seem to have left out all the middle ground.  Where was Augustus’ tale of his previous girlfriend, Bluie, Hazel’s shopping trips, the video games, selling the swing set; basically where were all the parts where they had fun and weren’t just talking about having cancer – I understand it’s a pretty big part of the story but for me it was those moments in the book that made the characters believable.

I realise this all sounds slightly anti-film so just to clarify I am by no means against the film but I thought the omitted details left it a bit empty.  To balance that the book is by no means ground breaking but it’s a lovely read – particularly if you’re looking for a sunbed/holiday read!

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