There are two things that I want to admit. First of all, I have never read this book. Not before watching the movie, and not even after watching it. And secondly, I have seen more than my fair share of failed book adaptions into the big screen. Yes, it’s not easy to make a successful book become a successful movie.
There are pros and cons of making a movie based on a book. The good thing is, you have a solid story line to base on, and a ready fan base who love the book and will be queuing up to see how the movie interprets their favourite book. The bad thing is, you are easily overwhelmed by the content of the book, you want to bring in anything, and you find all the details worth shooting. You end up losing focus, and the movie becomes draggy and boring. It’s tough job to condense and rewire the book to become something that can be shot on film. Or you can end up on the opposite situation: Cutting out too much details until those who have not read the book find the movie hard to understand and the flow non continuous.
Luckily, this movie manages to avoid both extremes, and walk a thin line that is just nice. There are enough details to entice the audience, and the teen love story is given enough time to develop naturally and comfortably. I can feel the chemistry between the two sick teens growing every minute, in a very modern and today’s manner, with all the current hypes of SMS, chats, calls and emails, and at the same time still classically romantic and heart melting (think of roses and candle lights and swings, everyone). And I genuinely feel happy for them, seeing them finally find something in life to cheer them up, so that they have more motivation to fight to live and to lead a normal, healthy life.
It’s a beautiful love story, but unless you are from another planet, you will at least know that both of them have cancer, and most of the time the stories about cancer patients do not end well. This is not a fairy tale, and John Green, the author of the book, did not want readers to think so either. Moreover, it would be a crime to give those patients false hope that the tumours will just disappear one fine day by themselves. John Green did not create false hope. He faced the hard truth heads on. And he did it in a very compassionate way, building characters who confront the disease, fight and keep their spirits high, live each day to the fullest and make each moment count, and by that, building wonderful role models for those who are in the similar situation to relate and to lift their spirits up, and for those who read the book to appreciate what they have and treasure it, value it more. That’s the true beauty of the story, which manage to be transmitted quite wholesomely and fully into the screens.
First and foremost, some credits should be given to the main actor and actress, for their efforts to portray the souls and emotions of the characters. It really takes lots of serious work to do so. After all, movies like this only shine on the cast’s performance. There is no explosion, no breathtaking CGI, just the performance shining through and keeping audience on their seats. And I must say that the 2 stars of this movie managed to do it quite successfully. They are not huge stars yet, just up and coming stars, but they have potential, and if they continue working hard and choosing roles wisely and carefully, and leading a good life with no scandal, it will be just a matter of time before they join the top tier and become the go to guy and girl of directors and producers.
Another aspect that I love about this movie is its amazing cinematography; There are many good shots, there are some great shots and there are a few money shots. The scenes in Amsterdam are simply beautiful. And the every day life moments are shining with sparkle of brilliance as well.
All in all, it’s a beautiful movie, crafted with heart and lots of love. It’s not a blockbuster and it may not earn the studio millions of bucks, but who needs a blockbuster here when the small story about the love of the 2 youngsters has enough fire and power to win hearts and move invisible mental blocks that separate people.
Another wining point of this movie are intelligent dialogues that make normal moments incredibly cool. One example to boot, the gesture to hold the cigarette without lighting up at all.
So, for those romantic movie fans, rush out to the cinema and grab the ticket to watch this lovely movie before it is swept off by the insane Transformers. It’s worth the time and the money. It may make you leave the cinema with tears in your eyes, but will also give you moments of laughter and also a newfound appreciation of the value of your life.
Click on the link below if you want to purchase the book from Amazon.com 🙂 (it’s really worth it)
And as usual, a few more photos to keep the sweet moment a little bit longer.