June 22, 2014

"The Fault In Our Stars" Film Review: Pre-Movie and Post-Movie Thoughts

Hello everyone! Happy summer to you all. Terribly sorry for not posting yet this summer-- I had all four of my wisdom teeth cut out and have kinda been out of it since then. I'm still a tiny bit swollen, but I'm finally back to eating regular food now, so YAY! :)

So, I saw TFIOS movie on June 6, the day it came out here in the United States, and if you can remember from about six months ago, I wasn't a huge fan of the book, but I was excited for the movie.
(Read my short book review here -- http://julyaemmance.blogspot.com/2014/01/TFIOS-review.html)

I was stalking the Goodreads page for the TFIOS book, and I found a reviewer that mostly I agreed with (I'm so sorry, I don't know who you are so I can't give credit, but if you see this, comment and let me know) and I'm going to share a few of her thoughts. I think her review is something worth reading just because everyone else in the world thinks it's a flawless piece of literature, and honestly it has gotten a bit annoying. I thought the book was way over-rated.
These are just my book and pre-movie thoughts as wonderfully put into words by a Goodreads reviewer:

*NOTE-- this is not the full review

EXPECTATION-







REALITY-







The characters- 

Augustus and Hazel have the same boring, pretentious, know-it-all and indistinguishable personality. These two characters meld together and have no depth at all. I couldn't connect with them, I felt no pain and sympathy for them and they annoyed me so much that I wanted to stab them. (Note from me! I wasn't quite that angry at Hazel and Augustus, but she's right about not being able to connect with Hazel. That was difficult)


Romance- It fell from the sky. Seriously, I don’t get what’s so “beautiful” about the relationship between them. They both fall in love within seconds just after laying eyes on each other ~love at first sight~ . The romance is undeveloped and it comes from nowhere. I was baffled when Hazel accepted to go to Augustus's house just minutes after meeting him. WHAT THE WORLD? How stupid can you be? You fall for a guy's words whom you met just few minutes ago and agree to go to his house! What if he were a murderer or something? (OMW I FELT THE SAME WAY.... LIKE, WHAT WAS HAZEL'S MOM EVEN THINKING TO LET HER GO TO THIS RANDOM GUY'S HOUSE????)

Not to mention that the kissing scene in Anne Frank's house was so disgusting. Anne Frank's house is considered to be a place of remembrance, a place where 2 families hid during the dark days of Holocaust. If anyone makes out at such a revered site, they would be kicked out regardless of who or what they are. People present around will be disgusted, they won't stand and watch much less clap for the "lovely" couple.

Writing- Want to hear some favourite quotes of mine? Here they are-

“My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.”...Why compare your thoughts to stars and constellations? *sighs*

"Some infinities are bigger than other infinities."



"That's the thing about pain. It demands to be felt."...Yeah, that’s the thing about chocolate, it demands to be eaten.

“I believe the universe wants to be noticed. I think the universe is improbably biased toward the consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observed. And who am I, living in the middle of history, to tell the universe that it-or my observation of it-is temporary?”... Umm….What?!

”I'm in love with you, and I'm not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I'm 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 there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you.” ...Woah, slow down! That was mouthful. Obviously, he wouldn't have said that without rehearsing it. It sounded so fake and clichéd. Ever heard of lovers confessing their love by reciting so-called long, beautiful and heart-wrenching monologues? 

“There will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.”

Me-


There were senseless dialogues, brain-cell burning metaphors and words thrown around in the book from the dictionary. I’ll stop here because just thinking about them gives me an awful migraine. 

One thing I don't buy is that teens with cancer suddenly become magically wise. They become terrified, confused, depressed and angry. They DON’T magically gain great insight in life and go around puking long monologues about the meaning of life. This made me roll my eyes . (Mm, yes)


Plot- Predictable. Uninspiring. Cancer is hard, it's painful but this book didn't show me that. I couldn't feel Hazel and Augustus’ struggle against it. I couldn't feel their pain. 

I knew that someone would die. Augustus's death wasn't powerful enough, if Green would've shown his death I would've understood why the world cried a whole bucket over him. (YES, I TOTALLY AGREE)

"He died eight days after his prefuneral"
WHAT THE WORLD?? Green tried to make his death sound LIKE HE WENT TO A PARTY LAST WEEK!!!

Ok, so this book made you cry, right? If a book makes you cry it automatically doesn’t mean that it’s a masterpiece. I can understand that you must’ve felt sad and sympathetic for the characters and must’ve cried but considering that this novel is sad and it made you cry doesn’t make it an awesome, life-changing and beautiful story. 

Ok, back to me again!
TFIOS book had gotten so much hype, that I had been insanely excited to read it, but alas, left disappointed. I was looking a tiny bit forward to the release of its movie because I had a feeling it would be better, and after seeing it, I determined that it was.

Post-movie thoughts:

GENRE: Realistic fiction, romance, chic flick?

SYNOPSIS: (From book) Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

GOOD STUFF: 
I loved the actors they picked to play Hazel and Augustus. Both fit my expectations, and convincingly played their characters. I thought it was easier to connect with each character, because viewers could visually follow their lives.

I have to admit that I never understood girls with stalker crushes on "book Augustus", but even fell in love with "movie Augustus..." His little trip to the gas station in the middle of the night was done very well, and I even had a few tears in my eyes seeing Augustus in so much pain. (The pain I felt was not portrayed at all for me in the book)

About Isaac.... He was absolutely perfect. Enough said.

The visuals were absolutely stunning. From hospital rooms, to bedrooms, to Amsterdam, each set surpassed my expectations and stood up to my imagination.
Most movies do not get teenager's bedrooms right, but I was actually a little jealous of Hazel's room: it had books, posters, desks, lamps, and an all around cozy, inviting feel to it. It was not dirty enough to be trashy, but not perfect enough to seem unlived in.
The beautiful way that Amsterdam was portrayed made me eager to visit there with someone that I love, another feeling that I did not get in the book.

Thank goodness directors and writers didn't portray Hazel's dad in the horrible way Green did in the book. His character development in the novel was literally just "My dad cried all the time," and that is basically all her dad did in the book. In the movie however, you could see so much more of the strength that dads show even when they're trying so, so hard not to break down and let their kids see how hopeless things seen. I connected so much better to Hazel's parents in the movie.

I think that all the characters were so much more relatable in the movie than in the book.

AND ED SHEERAN WROTE MUSIC FOR THE MOVIE!! I fell head over heals in love with his song....



BAD STUFF: 
They took out a lot of the early bonding between Hazel and Augustus. There was little talk of V for Vendetta, video games, or the book Augustus suggested she read.

There wasn't nearly enough of Isaac!

They never showed Hazel's friend, who I loved because she kept trying to keep up a relationship with Hazel even when Hazel was being a jerk and pushing her and all her other friends away (she was, you can't even deny it).

Viewers never got to know Augustus' parents in the movie, which is a total shame because they provided so much hope in Augustus and Hazel's dark world, even though in the book the other characters never acknowledged it. I really liked them! Seriously though, in the movie, you saw them briefly like two or three times. *sad face*

The inappropriate scene in Amsterdam was way longer and way more racy than necessary. That's all I care to say about that :P

Augustus' death was still the most emotionless thing ever. I mean seriously, it was like John Green was lazy and didn't care enough to write his actual death. Same thing in the movie. Grr, I was hoping for a bit more!

BOOK or MOVIE? 
If I had to recommend that you either read the book or watch the movie, I would recommend watching the movie because you get almost the same experience as reading the book, but it's more connectable and emotional. This is probably the ONLY situation EVER that I will tell someone to see the movie and then read the book.


FINAL THOUGHTS:
I am still annoyed with book fans, just because they think that John Green's work is a flawless piece of literature that can't be touched, and anyone who thinks otherwise is obviously deranged. However, because I saw the movie, I feel like I'm more open to the story. At some point in the near future I am planning on rereading the book. Who knows, maybe I'll even write another book review if my thoughts toward it have changed. I just wish people would realize that it really isn't that amazing of a book. I have read so many better than it.
As the Goodreads review suggested, read The Book Thief instead because it handles the same themes of death, depression, grief, love, and heroism so much better.

What do you guys think? So sorry if I offended any of you with my review; I'm just being honest!
-July



12 comments:

  1. OK, I feel the same way about the book. I haven't seen the movie and I honestly have no intention of doing so. I initially read the book because I had heard a lot about it and my friends were pushing me to read it. I did finish it but I don't think it was as good as everyone thought. There was bad language and that scene in Amsterdam, I was kind of disappointed. It was also very irreverent. I mean, seriously John Green? I know you say you're a Christian, but that was not very clean writing. Those were mostly the things that I didn't like. I did like Augustus's parents a lot and Isaac was pretty funny. Hazel was a whiny little thing and her parents were kind of like, " "
    Yeah... I found that Gus was kind of arrogant at the beginning but he changed a bit. Van Houten was a jerk no matter how you look at it.
    On the movie side of it, I love the Ed Sheeran music. I've listened to All of Our Stars so many times and I love it.

    Those are my thoughts, I know they're kind of jumbled, sorry about that! I just needed to rant for a minute. :)

    ~D. Skye <3

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    1. Ohhh, we are on the same brain wave, my friend! I think the same thing about the book, and we basically had the exact same experience.
      But, wow. I didn't know that Green is a Christian.... That's honestly a bit surprising to me considering some topics he writes about, not to mention his language. Hmm, that's an interesting thought to chew on.
      And no problem Destiny! I really appreciate when people share their thoughts :)

      Speaking of Ed.... Have you bought his new album yet?? :D

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    2. One thing I forgot to say, I do like sections of the book. While the long monologues are completely weird, extremely verbose and no teenager in their right mind would actually say anything like that, they are really cute and it probably took a lot of thought to put those together. I also want all the TFIOS swag. *smiles guiltily*
      John Green claims to be a Christian but he doesn't believe that there is a God. See quote:
      That call to meaning is the foundation of religious worldviews, but it’s also the foundation of successful secular worldviews. . . . Debating the mere existence of God is a way of avoiding the deeper and more devastating question of how we are going to bring meaning to human life. ~John Green

      About Ed Sheeran, I listen to his music occasionally but I'm not a diehard fan. Sorry! One of my friends loves 1D and Ed Sheeran and she made me listen to them ALL the time. I still don't like 1D but Sheeran has kind of grown on me. :)

      ~D .Skye <3

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    3. I suppose I liked sections of it as well, but there were far more dislikes than likes for me.
      Heehee, you better feel guilty about that one! Just kidding ;)

      But eeh! That quote does not back up Christian belief at all, so I'm not really convinced of his religion, but I don't know his heart, so I can't judge his words.

      Anddddd, back to lighter topics!!
      Heehee, that sounds like something I would do to one of my friends, ahaha. I'm glad Ed has grown on you though, I really do he is worth hearing!

      Thanks for dropping by again!

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  2. lol I take it you didn't care for it much, eh? I've been playing with the idea of reading/watching it.... but I'm not sure. I've heard several mixed reviews about it, and I guess you either love it or hate it. Racy scenes are a big fat turn-off for me, so I might wait and rent the movie so I can just skip right past it. :)

    Not going to lie though, The cat picture in context of the "some infinities are bigger than other infinities" cracked me up.

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    1. No, I didn't :( I'm sad that I didn't find the same qualities in it that everyone else seems to, but I'm also glad too (if that makes any sense.... I don't really know why).

      I sort of agree with you, you either love it or hate it, but the people who love it can't see anything wrong with it (there are obviously issues in every book, but I found a lot in this one and hardly anyone else seems to see them except like one in a million people), and the people who hate it I think wouldn't loathe it so much if the super-fans weren't so defensive and idolizing of it. It's annoying to me :P Ok enough of that, haha.
      If you decide to read/watch it, let me know what you think!

      Haha, I know right! It's honestly the perfect picture... I wish I had come with it :)

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  3. I really loved this movie and book. The reason they had to cut Hazel's friend is because they movie was already over two hours so they really had to whittle it down. Some scenes that were cut will be on the DVD, so I am excited to see that. I do wish we saw more of her parents and Isaac but they couldn't make the movie way over two hours and they had to focus on Hazel and Gus as those are the main characters. And with the Anne Frank part I don't think it was disgusting. The TFIOS movie was the first movie to ever be filmed in the Anne Frank house because the board of directors there liked the scene and thought it was moving and sensitively handled. A Holocaust Survivor said, "The kissing scene in ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ in the annex of the Anne Frank House is not offensive or against who Anne Frank was. What Anne communicated in her diary was hope. She celebrated life and she celebrated hope.” (Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League and a Holocaust survivor.)

    But I do think some people are unable to see the flaws in this book, and that is terrible. I wish some people would be able to see the flaws and accept them.

    It is nice hearing from you!

    Kylie

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    1. That's kinda cool that they're adding some scenes that didn't make the theater version. I hope they add the scene with her friend and some more of Isaac or Augustus' parents.

      I suppose the theme of hope sorta fits, but still. I wish John Green hadn't written the kissing part there just because it is a little bit disrespectful in my opinion.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! It's always nice hearing from you as well :)

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  4. I AGREE WITH YOU SO MUCH.

    When I first picked up the book I was sort of like 'oh, erm, a cancer book, umm..' and really didn't know whether to pick it up or not because I'd be so sad. But, after reading dozens of incredibly positive reviews, I finally decided to read it, only to find that I couldn't connect with a single thing that John Green has written (which made me want to tear my hair out). I have incredibly strong feelings of dislike towards the book, so I'm not too sure as to whether I'll watch the film.

    It's a shame though, because some of John Green's books are really good. However, this one was painful to read - overwritten but underwritten, if you know what I mean?

    Amy // The Blog Hermit

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    1. I had heard so many good things about it but it fell short for me too (obviously). I thought the characters were very difficult to connect to also. Have you read Paper Towns? What did you think of that one? I haven't read it yet, but I actually have it checked out from the library right now.

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  5. Agreed! Btw, V for vendetta is a real movie! Wanna try to watch it with me sometime?

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    1. I know! Hmmm, I'm not sure.... Isn't it kinda a violent movie?

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Hello there! Thanks so much for dropping by my little corner of the blogosphere. I'd really appreciate if you could give me a follow as well *hint, hint* These "about-me's" are literally the hardest things to write, but I'll have a go at it. You can call me July, or really whatever else floats your boat. I live in a very culturally proud little town that borders beautiful beaches, giving us fun for both summer and winter such as swimming, tanning, boating, skiing, ice-fishing, ice-berg walking, and gorgeous sunsets on the beach year-round. I hope to make it through high school and head off to college for, well, I don't know yet, but whatever it is, it'll be something I love. Robotics, books, movies, and music of all genres are kinda my thing. I would basically consider myself to be one of those stereotypical girls who fall desperately in love with fictional boys... I have a strange obsession with tea drunken from cute elephant mugs. So grab a cuppa and strap yourselves in for some brilliant stuff coming soon!