Monday, 23 June 2014

Review: The Fault In Our Stars

World of Blackout Film Review

The Fault In Our Stars Poster

The Fault In Our Stars
Cert: 12A / 140 mins / Dir. Josh Boone
WoB Rating: 3/7

It's quite a bold move, having the film's leading character open with a soliloquy stating that the story about to unfold 'won't be sugar-coated'. It's even bolder, considering that The Fault in Our Stars is often so cloyingly caramelised that the cinema-staff were testing the audience for Type-2 Diabetes on their way out*1. I'm sure it comes from a sincere place, I'm sure the novel's marvellous, and I'm sure I'm missing the point, but the film is aimed at an audience who can't understand emotion unless it's spelled out in massive letters for them. It's not enough to have a character with a shitty life acting sad. It's not enough to have sad music playing over the sad acting. You need to have sad lyrics being sung to the sad music over the sad acting. It's sad, do you see?

I can't even really blame the cast, as Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort seem mostly fine in isolation, so I have to throw the blame at either the screenwriting or the direction. Mawkish and clumsily manipulative, the funny parts aren't that funny and the sad parts aren't that sad. Some interesting ideas on the brevity of life and the legacy we all leave seem thoroughly underdeveloped while two teenagers I couldn't bring myself to like (and they're terminally ill, remember, how much of a bastard am I?), traipse around Amsterdam just like every other tourist that's there.

Oh, and the bit where the visitors to the Anne Frank Haus start gingerly applauding Hazel and Gus's kiss? I honestly wanted to stand up and punch someone. I've seen more sincerity in a P*ers M*rgan's interview*2.

After genuinely wanting to like The Fault In Our Stars, I left the cinema more annoyed and depressed than uplifted, but I'm sure it'll be fine for its intended audience. For every one else, the human, relatable film about troubled teenagers you want is The Perks Of Being A Wallflower.

Is the trailer representative of the film?
No, the trailer appears to be for a touching and engaging film.

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?
Not nearly enough.

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?
Not for me, but an audience that's had limited exposure to reality might love it.

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
DVD, if you really must.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?
Not that much, strangely. Although a little but, admittedly.

Will I watch it again?
I can't see that happening.

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?
There isn't. And I want to know why not.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

And my question for YOU is…
Those of you that think I'm wrong (I can hear you from here), how close is this adaptation to the book?

*1 Yes, I know that sugar itself doesn't cause Type-2 Diabetes, I just wanted to use that line. No, you shut up.
*2 I haven't. I don't watch that dick.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

No comments:

Post a Comment