- Navneel Maji
The movie is about an 18-year-old girl, Hasel Grace, who is suffering from fourth stage thyroid cancer and depression. She is not hopeful about life and it’s apparent she is longing for a life partner, someone who understands her. Her wish is fulfilled when, while attending a cancer support group, she meets Wus, who is smart, cool, very lively, and inevitably, they both fall in love. The boy had lost his leg when he was young and is wearing an artificial leg. However, these things don’t matter to their relationship and are busy enjoying their life of whatever is left. Later, we come to know that the boy also has lung and chest cancer, which is even more serious, and he is soon nearing his end. Things get more and more sentimental from then on, which ends when Hasel Grace, who has done the eulogizing at his funeral, happens to find her peace in her story.
To say that it is a great movie will be far from telling the whole story. The movie has so many levels of it that you cannot exhaust all in one sitting. It is a model of logical consistency; yes, everything fits in, it’s ingenious. This is a type of movie, a rare one, where it has good ending not because it should be or script demands it, but because that’s the only way it could be. Life is cruel, hard, unfair, and there is no sugar coating it. We all suffer from the inner wanting of our lives to be better than it is now. The movie is not idolizing anyone and judging others in the face of it, rather it’s playing fair by showing the problems we all face our own imperfections. It cannot be any more humane than that. The movie hits on a strong note that nothing in life persists, everything ends.
There is “eternal oblivion” at the end of the line and so, it’s equally pointless to be sad or otherwise as to be happy. Thus, we would better choose the latter. The other thing I partially liked about the story is the importance of feeling and expressing the pain. Though, the movie (or the novel?) could have said more on that as what about the people who couldn’t get what they want even minimally as Hazel, what then? Was the response that she had at the beginning of the movie that of a depressed and lone person justified to her condition?