HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Iceman
Blue Sky
Tokyo Dragon Chef
Pittsburgh
12 Hour Shift
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Fatman
   
 
Newest Articles
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
   
 
  Fault in Our Stars, The Happily Never After
Year: 2014
Director: Josh Boone
Stars: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolff, Laura Dern, Sam Trammell, Willem Dafoe, Lotte Verbeek, Ana Dela Cruz, Randi Kovitz, Toni Saldana, David Whalen, Milica Govich, Allegra Carpenter, Emily Peachey, Emily Bach
Genre: RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: Hazel (Shailene Woodley) is nineteen and coping with a cancer that has been part of her ever since she was a child, held at bay by an experimental drug. An oxygen tank is her constant companion. To pacify her parents Hazel reluctantly attends a support group which is where she meets Augustus (Ansel Elgort) who lost a leg to cancer but not his zest for life. Sharing an acerbic wit and disdain for the conventional, they find solace in each other and fall deeply in love. When Hazel introduces Augustus to an inspirational novel written by Peter Van Houten, he ends up writing a fan e-mail to the reclusive author. This prompts an invitation to visit him in Amsterdam. Against doctors' advice but with the support of her mother (Laura Dern), Hazel joins Augustus on an emotional journey.

Few things are more insufferable than a 'cancer is cute' movie. The Fault in Our Stars is not one of those. Hollywood has a long tradition of lachrymose love stories involving terminal illness, some done well as in the Greta Garbo classic Camille (1936) though more often shamelessly saccharine and insincere. Love Story (1970) we're looking at you. Author John Green, on whose novel this film is based, is quoted as saying he resisted handing the rights over to filmmakers at first precisely because "Hollywood sucks at making unsentimental movies about illness." The film opens with a monologue addressing the established tradition of sugar-coating sad stories. "I love those stories as much as the next girl", admits Hazel. "But those aren't the truth. This is the truth. Sorry." Yet for all its unflinching honesty about the simple unfairness of cancer, what follows remains a recognisably old-fashioned weepie not something confrontational or subversive. Yet well-crafted weepies have value too. There is a fine line between contrived sentimentality and an honest emotional response to a beautifully told story. And make no mistake, The Fault in Our Stars is a beautifully told story.

At first it is apparent why Green's sparky, self-aware yet sensitive young heroes struck a chord with a generation that prefers to filter honest emotion through irony, text messages, pop culture references and a hipster soundtrack. Yet gradually and with great skill director Josh Boone and scripters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber syphon all that away and get down to weaving an affecting story about life, death and love. On one level the plot shoots down religion and art as the answer to life's mysteries. Yet for all its attempt to gaze unflinchingly into the abyss the film retains a certain fairytale quality. Heck, the leads are two clean-cut, sweet-natured virgins. The fairytale tone extends to a genuinely lovely travelogue romance wherein Hazel and Augustus enjoy the sights in Amsterdam. But the film throws the first of several poison apples into the mix in the form of Van Houten (Willem Dafoe) who turns out to be far less than the inspirational figure Hazel imagined him to be and more a pontificating, nihilistic, pseudo-intellectual asshole.

From this point the film expands in scope beyond the familiar, albeit more accomplished than most, disease-of-the-week melodrama to ask a more ambitious question. Namely, if life is inherently futile then why go on living? As Augustus observes, life must end, even the Earth will eventually be swallowed by the sun yet we still fall in love, still forge emotional connections because those are the very things define us as human. Or indeed what defines life as living. This idea is beautifully expressed in a haunting sequence where Hazel painfully ascends the many steps leading to the secret annexe at Anne Frank's house. It becomes a metaphor for Hazel's battle for hope interspersed with moving quotes from Anne Frank's diary. The film further outclasses the shallowness of Love Story through refusing to shy away from the indignity of cancer. We see the debilitating effect cancer has upon the human spirit as the protagonists grow bitter, angry and grapple with conflicting emotions. Lead actors Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, last seen as brother and sister in the same year's Divergent, share terrific chemistry and are wholly engaging. When the film starts tugging those heartstrings it works. Big time. Yet there is a sincerity to both performances and story that bolsters its transcendent final message.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1519 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: