The Fault in Our Stars


I fell in love with him the way you fall asleep; slowly, and then all at once.” –Hazel Grace Lancaster (The Fault in Our Stars, 2014)

Some infinities are simply bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbound set. I want more numbers than I’m likely to get, and God, I do want more numbers for Augustus Waters than what he got. But Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and for that I’m eternally grateful.” –Hazel Grace Lancaster (The Fault in Our Stars, 2014)

See, the thing is... we all want to be remembered. But Hazel’s different. Hazel knows the truth. She didn’t want a million admirers, she just wanted one. And she got it. Maybe she wasn’t loved widely, but she was loved deeply. And isn’t that more than most of us get?” –Augustus Waters (The Fault in Our Stars, 2014)

Title                 : The Fault in Our Stars
Director            : Josh Boone
Starring            : Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort
Genre               : romance, drama, comedy
Distributor        : 20th Century Fox
Release date     : 6 June 2014
Running time    : 126 minutes

"The Fault in Our Stars" movie poster - source:

Dear Readers, it’s the last day of April already, and this means that it will be the last post for the theme of this month, Lost and Found. Thirty days ago, we began this theme with a song review; Taylor Swift’s “Red”, which is the representative song for Lost and Found. Now, I will wrap this theme up with a movie review; “The Fault in Our Stars”, which is the representative movie for Lost and Found. Why do I choose this movie as the representative one? Well, you will find out more later in this article, but what I can share now in this prologue part is that “The Fault in Our Stars” tells us that even in the short life human live in, love is lost and found. We may already had it in the beginning but then we lost it, and we found it again eventually, in another form. We also may never had it in the beginning, like a lost part of us, but then we found it and never actually lost it afterwards. Here, love is the Lost and Found of life.
Indeed, people live in searching for the Lost and Found, whether they realize it or not. Sometimes they called it purposes. Some other times they called it happiness. On some others, they called it lessons. The point is, whatever they may call it, there are things that bound people to live life to the fullest. And they found those things in many forms. It could be lovers. It could be family. It could be friends. It could be many simple things they highly cherish. And when they miss those things, they would feel like there’s something lost in their lives. It would feel unbalanced. It would feel incomplete. It would feel empty. It would feel like their existences mean nothing in this world. And that’s what matter, actually, the things that make people feel they mean something for this world; that’s the Lost and Found they search for. In this short life people live in, giving meaning is one that can make it full. The address is happiness, and the key is gratitude.


“The Fault in Our Stars” is a 2014 romantic comedy drama film that tells a love story of Hazel Grace Lancaster (portrayed by Shailene Woodley) and Augustus Waters (portrayed by Ansel Elgort). Hazel Grace is an intelligent and sarcastic teenager who has terminal thyroid cancer that has spread to her lungs. She’s urged by her mother (Laura Dern) to attend a cancer patients’ support group to make friends, where she meets Augustus during a support meeting. Augustus, who prefers to be called as Gus, is a teenager who has lost a leg from bone cancer. Gus invites Hazel Grace to his house, as they bond and get to know each other more. Hazel Grace also gets to know Gus’ blind best friend, Isaac (Nat Wolff). When they agree to read each other’s favorite novels, Hazel Grace recommends “An Imperial Affliction” to Gus. It’s a novel about a cancer-stricken girl named Anna, whom Hazel finds having a parallels experience with her. After finishing the book, Gus expresses frustration with the novel’s abrupt ending.
Hazel Grace explains that the novel’s mysterious author, Peter van Houten (Willem Dafoe), retreated to Amsterdam following the novel’s publication, and has not been heard from since. Weeks later, Gus tells Hazel he has traced Van Houten’s assistant and has corresponded with Van Houten by email. Hazel writes to him to ask about the novel’s ambiguous ending, which Van Houten replies that he is only willing to answer in person. Though they face many hurdles –like rejection from Hazel Grace’s mother because of financial and medical constraints and also Hazel Grace suffers from pleural effusion and is sent to an intensive care unit (ICU) just days before the trip– Hazel Grace and Gus flies to Amsterdam in order to meet Van Houten, with Gus’ surprise to Hazel with tickets to Amsterdam donated by a charitable foundation. The two arrive in Amsterdam, only to find that Van Houten is disappointingly a mean-spirited alcoholic.


In real life, there’s no ending such as happily ever after. “The Fault in Our Stars” tries to catch this essence. And in my opinion, the screenwriters were successful. The screenplay was written by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, who known previously for their amazing duet works on “The Spectacular Now” (2013) and “(500) Days of Summer” (2009). The plot is captivating and genuine. And fortunately, it met the perfect cast. Many critics praised not only the screenwriting, but also the cast performance, especially Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort as the lead characters. They were enchanting! “The Fault in Our Stars” is indeed a fiction, yet when watching it, I can feel it as realistic as a fiction can be. Hazel Grace and Gus, despite their health condition, are indeed just teenagers. They want to fall in and out of love, they want to learn love, they want to feel love. And Woodley and Elgort, I have to say, their chemistry was breathtaking.
Specifically, this movie tells a love story of two young people who are terminally ill; about how they manage to give life to one another despite their shared suffering. They realize that they’re not gonna live forever, or even less than forever than anybody else. However, they also realize that they have to make a full of it. It’s a short life, then what? Let’s just make an incredible one out of it. We’re all gonna die sooner, or maybe never later, then what? It’s not that it makes us not being able to fall in love like everyone else. I note what Gus says in this movie: “I am in love with you. And I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed. And that one day all our labor will be returned to dust. And I know that the sun will swallow the only earth we will ever have. And I am in love with you.” Sometimes, people don’t realize what they have until it’s gone. Most of the times, people cherish what they have when they realize they can only have it just in a short time, more than anything else.


Generally, this movie tells a love story of two young people; about life and death and the people caught in between. That eventually, no matter who we are, how good or bad our health condition is, how short or long we will live, we’re all gonna die someday. And when people die, their love dies with them. I note what Hazel Grace says in this movie: “And Augustus Waters was the star-crossed love of my life. Ours is an epic love story and I probably won’t be able to get more than a sentence out without disappearing into a puddle of tears. Like all real love stories, ours will die with us, as it should.” And when a love dies, a part of someone dies with it. That’s why it’s called soulmate. And here is the differences between a child love and a mature one; child love needs to be acknowledged, it needs to be grand and wide, while mature love needs to be remembered, it needs to be simple yet deep, very deep. What Hazel Grace and Gus have, though they’re young, is certainly a mature love. They may be young at age, but they definitely have old souls. And in love, that’s a great thing to have. Because in the end, a mature love is the one people always seek for in life.
Last but not least, I would like to dedicate this paragraph for John Green, the mastermind behind the story of “The Fault in Our Stars”. This story, as far as I’ve read Green’s (this include “An Abundance of Katherine”, “Let It Snow” – co-written with Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle, “Will Grayson, Will Grayson” – co-written with David Levithan), is him at his best. He said in an interview that he wanted to portray the youth with terminal ill as human as healthy people. He also wanted to capture the feeling that, as he stated, “The stories that I was reading sort of oversimplified and sometimes even dehumanized them. And I think generally we have a habit of imagining the very sick or the dying as being kind of fundamentally other. I guess I wanted to argue for their humanity, their complete humanity.” It also turned out that Green is a big fan of Shakespeare, as he said, “The last line of the book, “I do”, symbolizes marriage because Shakespeare’s comedies end in marriage and his tragedies end in death, and I was rather fond of the idea that my book could end (symbolically, at least) in both.


As (I assume) we all know, “The Fault in Our Stars” is based on the novel of the same name written by John Green. The book was first published in January 2012 as the author’s sixth novel. The title is inspired by Act 1, Scene 2 of Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar”, in which the nobleman Cassius says to Brutus: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings.” The novel received critical acclaim, as well as became bestseller in many lists around the world. Following the success of the novel, its feature film adaptation positively received by critics and also proved to be commercially successful. Well, I’m not a very big fan of melodrama, and since I already knew before that “The Fault in Our Stars” has a sad elements in it, I didn’t watch it right after I got the copy of this film. Okay, perhaps it sounds silly, but I (literally) took some times to prepare myself before watching it. And yes, it’s heartwrenching at some point, yet it’s heartwarming overall. Really, John Green is the best in this genre. Somehow he could still manage to add the humor in a soft and subtle way. Really, “The Fault in Our Stars” is a young-adult story at its best.

Gus: “Okay.
Hazel Grace: “Okay.
Gus: “Okay.
Hazel Grace: “Okay.
Gus: “Perhaps ‘okay’ will be our ‘always’.
Hazel Grace: “Okay.
(The Fault in Our Stars, 2014)


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