by Veronica Louis
Rating: 4/5 Commas
This film based on John Green’s New York Times best-seller, focuses on Hazel Grace (Shailene Woodley) who struggles to find herself despite the cancer pillaging her body, and her new “just-friends” friend Augustus (Ansel Elgort), who clearly understands that she is not her illness.
It’s a romantic film about moments, unbreakable bonds and taking chances despite all odds. It clearly stems from a literary perspective with its smart dialogue that is less conversational and more rhetorical. Yet, the actors do an excellent job at translating the flowery prose into convincing and feeling dialogue.
In the age of sound bites and three-second shots, it’s refreshing to watch a movie that breathes and does not shy away from longer shots and scenes that capture inconspicuous moments such as a stare, a grin, an awkward glance. Because in the end, as Hazel Grace describes it, life is composed of a finite set of such moments. And the movie mimics that sentiment by highlighting these seemingly trivial instants that collectively make up the fabric of life.
With a great story line full of clever references, some unexpected twists, and a strong cast of young actors who bring light to a dark subject matter, this film will make you laugh, cry, and leave you feeling inspired.