Komorebi Post– ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ is a movie about two teenagers falling in love in the most devastating cancerous way ever. Released in 2014 and directed by Josh Boone, the movie is based on the 2012 best seller novel of the same name by American author John Green. It is always a better idea to read the book first then watch the movie. Having done both, I can say that the movie remained faithful to the book.
Hazel Grace (played by Shailene Woodley) is a 16-year-old girl, diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at the age of 12 years, which spread to her lungs and is miraculously under control for the time being. Hazel wears a large piece of accessory the whole time; a cylindrical green tank which delivers oxygen through a tube in her nostrils.
Augustus Waters (played by Ansel Elgort) is a 17 year old boy, who had a visitor called osteosarcoma (a kind of bone cancer) a year and half ago, he is in remission now. Augustus is a terrible driver due to having his leg amputated and replaced with a prosthetic one.
As a justifiable result of her conditions, Hazel suffers from depression; encouraged by her doctor and pushed by her mother she joins a cancer support group.
At the very first chapter of the book, it mentions that depression is always listed among the side effects of cancer, but Hazel who narrates her story says that “depression is not a side effect of cancer. Depression is a side effect of dying, cancer too is a side effect of dying, almost everything is, really”
Cancer support groups are an integral part of cancer patients well being, the mere fact of knowing that one is not alone, being able to share experiences, reactions, fears, hopes, and even jokes. Some cancer patients suppress their pain and feelings because they don’t wish to upset/frighten their family or that they will not be able to understand their emotions. Cancer support groups provide a safe place to connect with others who are suffering from same symptoms or type of cancer.
Hazel and Augustus meet at the support group and from there they click, they share with each other their movies and books and views on life. Hazel thinks of herself as a grenade waiting to explode at any time so she resists any person’s attempt to get closer to her to minimize casualties. However, Mr. Waters is witty and charming!
They both travel to Amsterdam to meet Peter Van Houten, the author of Hazel’s most favorite book “An Imperial Affliction” (which is not real because I searched for it). During this trip, emotions are revealed as well as a life changing event; Hazel and Augustus will have to deal with life’s ugly face.
The movie is heartbreaking yet so insightful and bold; the characters were beautifully and sincerely played. Regardless whether you decide to watch the movie or read the book, both shall keep you on a roller coaster of emotions between being alive and loved yet dying.
As to whose fault is it, truth is that we do not get to choose our fate, it was written in our stars.