The Fault In Our Superstars

Last blog post is a piece of fiction.

I felt tremendous unease while writing it. Prime reason could be that I have never read a piece of fiction longer than a blog post. In total, probably, I haven't read more than 30,000 words of fiction (Please, do not ignore the italicised 'read'). In short, I struggled. Struggled with vocabulary, composition, style and at times, grammar.

The next step, for me, was to read a book on fiction and analyse if I hook up to it. I can learn a lot from reading fiction. I followed a friend's recommendation and read 'The Fault In Our Stars' by John Green. (If you have a question about usage of single quotes instead of double quotes in the text then you have no idea what it feels like to program in JavaScript for 18 hours straight).

I have a habit of completing projects I start. I try not to keep any book in my DNF list. Even if I have to grate myself through loathsome writing. TFIOS is first fiction book I intend to read. Not really. First fiction book I read was Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind and that is the only book which I started and did not finish. I intended to read a solid history book but I found nothing but fiction formed on baseless intuitive leaps none of which landed on spot. I left it at page 214. Yeah, I am sorry but no, I am not.

I have a habit of thoroughly planning what I am getting into but I didn't learn anything about TFIOS beforehand. No summary, no plot idea I didn't even know about the genre, except that it is fiction.

A few pages into the book and duh. It's a love story. I still daringly decided to end it, lel, I mean complete it. I can't see another book in my DNF list. Moreover, given that it is fiction book, I was prepared for anything.

Initially, I paused again and again to carefully observe writing style, sentence composition and storytelling. It was my goal after all to learn a lot from this one book but it slowed me. This 200-ish pages romance novel need to end in one sitting, I decided. Didn't risk to spare for next sitting or it would have been a ++(DNF list). Then I just gulped the book embellishing the words with my world. Created my imagination around it. A rich and detailed world. I finished the book and I don't think it left any kind of impact on me. I will forget most of it soon.

One thing that will stick around for sometime is an answer to the most popular and the most terrible question of the world, "How are you?". The answer according to Augustus is "Grand!". I like it. Everything else in the book is mostly yet another love story of dying cancer patients. I have never read any other though. But I had imagined many similar possibilities. This book would really mean a lot to cancer patients though. For other people it isn't a big deal.

Some 3 years ago, a colleague recommended TFIOS movie. He loved it. First time I happened to have read a book instead of movie. I wanted to know how it feels to watch a movie about a book that you have read already. How do movie makers change it. Why do people always despise the movie and hail the book. How screen adaptation differ. Which details are shown and which ones are hidden.

I was curious so, I watched the movie too.

From now on I am writing whatever I have remembered. I won't be thorough. It's not a movie review. I can do better job at that. Let's keep movie reviews for later (read: (read: probably( never )). (Good luck with your functional programming assignment).

Movie starts.

What? This can't be Hazel Grace Lancaster. Who casted her...

Well, of course they can't find an actress similar to Hazel. They must have tried their best.

Augustus? Really? Ansel couldn't even nail Augustus' characteristic crooked smile specifically mentioned around 50 times in the book.

It was repeatedly made obvious in the book that Hazel's mom is chubby. She is a caring and supportive character and no one can imagine a slender lady there. Most loving and caring people are usually chubby. It is statistically proven and not uncommon. Mumtaz Mufti couldn't be more right about motherhood. I will spare the details but he also thinks that body fat percentage and ability to radiate love is directly proportional.

How could director or producer or whatever be so indifferent to the book. I think director didn't even read it. He was probably given script/dialogues only and he conjured up all the details from nowhere.

And Hazel's Dad?

The problem with industry is that we are not making actors. We are making super models according to recent standards of beauty. I believe in next generation it would be impossible to find a good rotund actor or actress. Hazel's Mom and Dad both look like they were top models in their youth. Only solution is that authors should stop using characters with imperfect bodies in their writings.

Whole cast ruined pretty much everything.

I won't go into the parts that were cut from the movie altogether but whatever is kept is severely distorted and normalized towards mediocrity.

Minute and important details of characters and their idiosyncrasies that made all the difference to the depth of emotions were missing from the movie. I directed that movie 3.545 times better in my mind. It had more drama, intensity and momentous moments of happiness and dejection.

After watching the movie I admired the book. It's all relative.

Another catch could be that everyone would perceive a book differently. It depends on the reader's preferences and breadth and depth of his imagination. So, I think we can make movie as close to book as possible but still it will put many people off. You can't control minds of people. But I must say this director is noob or it's a very low/tight budget amateur movie.

It's one of the reasons I don't like movies as form of entertainment. It controls mind and narrows vision. It feeds us an idea, strictly and precisely, which is dangerous. Limits creativity. Hinders imagination. Makes us consumer and passive.

I have always preferred games over movies. Open ended. Creative. Permissive. Infinite. Games.

Literally no P.S.

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