“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars / But in ourselves, that we are underling
s.” This is the quote that inspired the title of the novel and
consequentially of the movie. However, Hazel Grace (Shailene Woodley) and Augustus (Ansel Elgort), like Romeo and Juliet, are star-crossed lovers with no future in front of them. Throughout the whole movie, they are both battling cancer.
The narration happens through the voice of the 16-year-old protagonist. She is very frank she knows she is going to die and she accepts it, in fact for the first part of the movie she is resigned and lives her life for her parents and not for herself.
By watching the movie you go through a roller coaster of emotions and you cannot quite see where it’s taking you, so it’s quite just to ask ourselves what stereotypes of teen movies are present in The Fault in our Stars and what are the dissonances?
It’s diverse because it has 2 settings and consequentially 2 atmospheres:
Indianapolis- a city where they both live more indoors: house, hospital, support group in the church. It’s almost asphyxiating how Hazel Grace’s routine works. She is always in the room with a book she reads over and over again
Amsterdam- there are a lot of outdoor scenes. They almost forget of their illnesses and they explore their love. This city is the turning point of the story. It’s where we discover that Augustus has a tumor. Before then we sensed how it was going to finish but now…
How it could be compared to a coming of age:
Although Hazel Grace is only 16, she’s very mature for her age because of all she went through
Throughout the movie she matures even more. She becomes more independent, more sociable, develops a love interest and loses her virginity (rite of passage of many contemporary teenage movies). Furthermore she becomes even more mature when the love of her life dies.
Unlike normal teenage movies where the protagonists feel invincible, both main characters know they are going to die and that their life is not as long as the one of a normal teenager. Does the limited time intensify their love and our perception of it?
At the beginning Hazel Grace worries about attaching herself to others. She compares herself to a grenade and worries too much about inflicting suffering for her death to others. At the end she becomes the victim and is wounded by that love explosion.