Top critical review
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Not as good as the book, but glad I watched
on 13 September 2014
I read TFIOS novel on holiday, and then re-read the book a further two times before the movie release because there was just so much depth to the story and the characters.
I watched the movie with a unique feeling, I felt that the book had left such an impression on me, that even if the movie was terrible I would still have the book to go back to!
To the movie makers credit, the movie stayed true to the book in many aspects, and particularly where it mattered: it was easy to immerse yourself in the story and truly feel for the characters. It was also cast well and had a good soundtrack.
If I hadn't read the book, I would probably give the movie 4 stars. Discounting the book entirely, it is a bittersweet love story exploring the impact having limited time left on this earth has on us. I certainly cried whilst watching and was glad I saw the movie.
However I have read the book, and I guess the best way to describe my disappointment with the movie would be the pace. I understand that movies are 2 hours long maximum, but this is not a story to be rushed. It probably wouldn't have made any sense whatsoever to make this movie a two-parter, but I felt a little cheated that the story was rushed.
To give a specific general example: I glanced at the clock during an integral scene and found myself thinking "theres 30 minutes left...HOW is this going to wrap up in 30 minutes?" I dislike generalisations, but I suppose in general a movie tends to lean more towards entertainment and books have more of an opportunity to evoke complex thought and emotions.
This movie had great characters, a great plot, a few twists, and a good mixture of laughter, hope, and sadness. In short, it was a satisfying watch, but having read the book, I would have been more satisfied if the characters and story was left to marinate a little longer. If this had happened then the key plot points would have been much more gut wrenching and heartbreaking like in the book.
If you haven't read the book and intend to, read the book before watching.
If you haven't read the book and don't intend to, this is a story you need to experience, watch immediately!
If you have read the book, this movie is worth a watch!