After seeing the movie today, I have a few things to say. Not all of them are exactly very pleasant, so read on at your own risk. It’s actually more of a rant really…and there’s probably a lot of controversial stuff down there so be aware that thoughts demand to be expressed just like pain demands to be felt.
Note: This was originally going to be either a movie review (which I don’t do) or a book/movie comparison, but after seeing it, it could only be an essay. Besides, I summed both of those up in point 1. Read on.
1. It was well cast and well acted. Also true to the book.
2. We are all dying. Living and dying are the same thing. If death didn’t exist, dying wouldn’t. Because there is death, we are all heading towards it, thus we are all dying. When we say someone is dying, we simply mean they are heading towards death at a faster rate.
3. Augustus Waters will never exist in this world. He is fictional.
4. I will reiterate a point from my essay: Hazel should have died. This was my first impression after seeing the movie. I had to get angry over something, or else I’d probably be crying. But still, my point is important to me. She should have died. Mild little Hazel. It was supposed to be her story. Instead it was Augustus’ story. Cocky, romantic, misguided Augustus. Maybe they both should have died.
5. If I didn’t feel so strongly about this story, I wouldn’t hate on it so much. I guess I really do love it deep down but I can only express myself through cynicism because it gives me control. I won’t be like everyone else in the movie theater, sobbing and thinking ‘what a beautiful story.’ It was very hard to resist being the one that stood up at the end and shouted HAZEL SHOULD HAVE DIED. IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN YOU. I don’t expect anyone to agree with me. I’m not even sure why I feel so strongly about this myself. It just makes me mad that she didn’t die. At the beginning, you know she is going to. I thought I would at least get the satisfaction (well, closure) of seeing it happen. Nope. Instead we get introduced to Augustus and the story becomes about him.
6. Funerals are for the living. The living who are dying. Funerals are for being fake. Funerals are not about saying goodbye. They are about the truth. They are about YOU WILL DIE TOO SOMEDAY AND THIS WILL BE YOU AND WELCOME TO OBLIVION. They are a big slap in the face to the living. They are HE DIED AND WHY ARE YOU STILL LIVING. HOW SELF-INDULGENT OF YOU. HOW PRESUMPTUOUS. TRY LIVING NOW THAT HE’S DEAD. JUST TRY IT I DARE YOU.
7. All this is making me feel a lot like Van Houten. But he was right. He understood Cancer Perks pretty well also. He understood pity, but he didn’t understand the reason. Pity comes from love.
8. My mother tried to tell me that this movie was about the relative size of infinities. But as I said before, it’s not about anything. It’s about everything and nothing. It’s certainly not a love story. It’s certainly not star-crossed lovers along the lines of Romeo and Juliet. Know why? BECAUSE HAZEL GRACE LANCASTER DIDN’T DIE. Oh I know she eventually dies. But goodness, she should have died with Augustus, before Augustus, or not at all. Isn’t that romantic? I forgot I wasn’t being romantic. We don’t get to choose when we die unless we have cancer and then we can decide any moment. Well, I guess anyone can choose when they die forcibly. But not naturally.
9. Still not sure this movie convinced me whether love exists in the sense that everyone believes it does, but they can enjoy it all they like. Let death be a side effect rather than an inevitability. Has it ever occurred to you that maybe they fell in love because they were dying? Not just because they met at support group. But because it gave them a new sense of life and the ability to understand one another. Not even that. Because without the cancer, it would just be another couple’s love story.
10. In a sense, one way to make sure that always really is always is death. Til death do us part. Monica and Isaac didn’t die because her love wasn’t real.
11. Pain doesn’t demand to be felt. It requires feeling. It lives and breathes about as well as Hazel’s lungs and Isaac’s eyes and Augustus’ leg. It becomes us like our cancer. The cancer that kills us. And yet we can live with it. We can live with just about anything until we choose not to anymore. And that’s what death is.