“They don’t kill you unless you light them. And I’ve never lit one. It’s a metaphor, see: You put the killing thing right between your teeth, but you don’t give it the power to do its killing. A metaphor.” – Augustus Waters
Number of Times Seen – 1 (19 Jun 2014)
Brief Synopsis – A teenage girl with cancer meets a boy in a cancer support group and they try to find love among the dilemmas of being ill.
My Take on it – I heard about this movie a few months ago and that it was to be an adaptation of a bestselling novel by John Green (which I had also never heard of).
I was intrigued after watching the trailer and knew that it would be a great movie for me to watch with my wife when it would come out in June.
Two wees ago, we contemplated going to a movie and I had hoped that it had already been released here in Israel, but alas, it wasn’t, so I knew we’d have to wait a few more weeks to see it.
Last week, during my trip to Germany, this was the ONLY movie playing in English (non-dubbed) showing at a decent hour (X-Men DOFP was only playing at 11:15 at night), but since I vowed to see it with my wife, I decided to pass on it.
Thankfully, the day after I returned home, we both had some free time in the morning, so we caught a matinee at 11:30am.
We both really LOVED it!
The storyline and character development completely drew us in and very quickly, we found ourselves immersed in the world of Hazel and Augustus. The acting by Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort seemed to make the story even more believable and realistic.
I’m not the kind of moviegoer who breaks down and cries during sentimental movies like this, but my wife was sobbing away numerous times throughout. The type of movies that I choke up during are not the kinds that most would expect. (I cry every time I watch Fever Pitch (2005), Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995) and a few others that have moments that touch my heart).
This doesn’t mean I wasn’t moved at all by this movie, because I actually was.
I felt such a strong connection that as soon as we left the theater, we went into a book store and bought the book this was based on.
On Saturday, I decided to start reading it with the hope that it would be a fun, quick read.
My wife, the great woman she is, let me read the book for 4 or 5 hours during the day Saturday and she watched the kids because she knew how much it meant to me to finish it.
I think that reading the book AFTER watching the movie was a great way to properly enjoy both of them.
This way, I wasn’t disappointed that the characters in my mind didn’t look at all like the actors on screen, I wasn’t upset that certain scenes were cut out and most importantly it still left me with the ability to love the book.
Coincidentally, numerous times in my life, I’ve watched a movie, loved it, read the book, extremely loved and then I’ll refuse to watch the movie again because it was so awful compared to the book. My favorite example of this is The Prince of Tides (1991). The morning after I saw it ion the theater, I bought the book and became completely engrossed in it. When I tried to rewatch it, I just felt it was terrible compared to the book.
I loved how both the movie and the book treat the characters with dignity and instead of seeing them as sick teens who have been afflicted with cancer, but rather they see them as teens with cancer who still seek love and affection like every other teen in the world, basically, it’s a teen love story where the lovers happen to have cancer.
After having watched this movie and read the book, I honestly believe that this is perhaps one of the best adaptations from page to screen because so little didn’t make the transition and the few changes they made didn’t at all change my thoughts on either the book or the movie.
So far, this is clearly my favorite movie of 2014 (It’s only the 16th release from 2014 that I’ve reviewed, but I can also include two more reviews coming in the next day or two))
Bottom Line – Amazing movie that completely drew me in. Cast that makes the story seem believable and realistic. One of the best movie adaptations of a book IMHO. Highly Recommended!
Rating – Oscar Worthy
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