John Green’s Fault in our Stars published in 2012, a story encompassing anger, friendship, love, excitement, humour and bravery has captivated millions of hearts around the globe. It is a tragedy turned into a romantic fairy tale which propels us to make the best out of the moments of our predestined life. Alongside love, it is a book about cancer which functions as a driving force in the love affair of Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus ‘Gus’ Waters. The overwhelming adversity of their life will make you experience the most relatable mix of feelings where you will laugh, cry and smile throughout.
To keep that soul-stirring experience of the book rejuvenated in our hearts it was transformed into a sensational movie in 2014. And now to take this amazing book even further, the Indian cinema has yet again endeavoured and is ready with ‘Dil Bechara’ which will keep this alluring story enlivened in our hearts.
For the Fault In Our Stars fans, here is an overview of the entire thread. ( the book and it’s two movies)
THE BOOK AND THE JOSH BOONE’S THE FAULT IN OUR STARS
Books are often truncated into movies according to the interpretations of the director. There is a subtle intimacy in reading a book which the movie screenings lack. Keeping the scaffolds of the novel intact and at the same time eliminating certain dialogues, details, sequences and even characters, Josh Boone managed to deliver a beautiful movie full of precious emotions.
“That was the worst part about having cancer, sometimes: The physical evidence of disease separates you from other people.”
The movie very well portrays the life of these two teenagers suffering from cancer but what it could not incorporate was the response of society towards it. The scene in the mall where a girl tries Hazel’s cannula and the one in which Augustus feels uncomfortable to stand in a McDonald’s line because of the embarrassing and unwanted glances that everyone bestowed at him are eliminated from the movie.
These two scenes draw light on the prejudice of our society which hesitates in accepting someone different from them and makes the movie more restricted to the lives of these teenagers without giving us a social understanding of the particular disease.
“Because it’s my life, mom. It belongs to me.”
Just before going to Amsterdam Augustus had a fight with his parents because they were reluctant to send him on a trip whose reason has not been specified till the end but this in a sense foreshadows Gus’s cancer in the book. Contrary to that his cancer in the movie comes as a complete surprise to the audience.
The movie has shortened Gus’s illness and has saved the audience from experiencing the tragic death of Augustus where he wets his pants and is carried to the hospital rather the scene directly leaps at the gas station where Hazel finds out that his G-section tube has been infected. Even in that scene, the beautiful poem “The Red WheelBarrow” by William Carlos that was recited by Hazel to Gus while waiting for the ambulance has been eliminated. These details are what make the book a richer and more cherished experience.
The movie seems to be biased towards Hazel when it comes to parental guidance because the love of Gus’s parents towards him has been made very apparent. In the book, the scene when Gus brings Hazel to his home for the first time includes his parent’s direction, who wants him to make Hazel visit the basement and watch ‘Natalia Portman’. Whereas in the movie they just head on to watch ‘V’ for Vendetta without any interference from the parents.
The role of Issac has been reduced, that of Caroline, Augusts’s ex-girlfriend who had a great impact on Hazel’s mind and his obnoxious sisters have been completely eliminated from the movie. In an attempt to rush to the ending of the movie there is no portrayal of Hazel’s struggle to find the letter of Peter Van Houten which is very vividly shown in the book. The funeral speech of Hazel in the book demarcates her real emotions which are not only of love or grief but also of her frustration towards life which has been altered in the movie to just a soothing speech for Augustus’s parents.
“But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within numbered days, and I’m grateful.”
In spite of such modifications in the movie, there were certain scenes which flawlessly recreated the instances from the book and in fact were, even more, graphically portrayed. One of the scenes which will break you into tears was the pre-funeral of Augustus. With the dialogues so genuinely spoken, the emotions being so real and the setting intact made the scene as overwhelming to watch as it was to read.
Even the sequence where Hazel, Augustus and Issac throws eggs at Issac’s ex-girlfriend ‘s car was more humorous to watch on-screen than to read or maybe, it was its perfect depiction. With some eliminated scenes, some graphically enhanced and others filled with cherished emotions this movie comes out to be one of the best on-screen book adaptations of all times.
THE BOOK AND MUKESH CHABBRA’S DIL BECHARA
Mukesh Chabbra has clung to the bare story of the novel and has then garnished it with typical Bollywood drama. The movie starts with a completely contrasting beginning to the book in which Kizie Basu, a Bengali girl residing in Jamshedpur has an obsession of attending stranger’s funerals which gives her a sense of belonging in the world. Her life, though gripped with cancer, boring schedules and lots of medicines lack the seclusion which we observe in Hazel’s incarcerated life. Then comes the funky entry of Immanuel Rajkumar Junior which is marked with the Bollywood tadka of music, humour and dance portraying him to be a carefree Indian boy with lots of dreams and aspirations to fulfil.
Mukesh seems to have assumed that the Indian audience does not read and thus he has altered one of the major events of the book. The favourite book of Hazel “The Imperial Affliction” by Peter Van Houten has been changed to the favourite song of Kizie “Main Tumhara” by Abhimanyu Veer which makes a great impact on the plot of the movie.
Even their encounter with the musician does not carry the same impact as their meeting with the author in the book does. Though they both have been shown to be the dismissive ones, the setting of their meet, their conversation and the after effect of it does not carry the same influence and depth as depicted in the book.
The narrative of the musician’s story has been shortened and to fill its absence, there has been an introduction of a Bhojpuri movie “Rajni arrives, dreams revive” which was being directed by Manny and JP, the Isaac of the novel. This additional sequence which marks the endeavours of Manny to make Kizie the heroine of their movie and their budding romance with the on going shooting of it has been a complete Bollywood touch to the Hollywood story of Hazel and Augustus.
As expected the movie portrays Kizie’s mom to be a typical Indian mother who is reluctant of her going to Paris and is more concerned about her virginity being intact. She also points out her revealing dress which is very obvious and expected from an Indian mom.
Though we also notice a very precious bond between Kizie’s father and Manny when they have a glass of beer together and Manny confesses his incompleteness to him and how strongly he feels the urge to complete Kizie’s wish, which is nowhere to be seen in the book. Speaking of parents there is no particular mention of Manny’s parents, rather he is shown to be living with his grandmother without mentioning any specific reason for it.
There have been many locational changes in the movie like the ‘funky bones’ picnic of the two teenagers has been changed to a romantic chat at a junkyard beside a beautiful lake. The fairy- tale lavish dinner at Oranjee in Amsterdam has been changed to a mediocre prom night in India itself. There is no specific sightseeing in the movie as compared to the book where they visit the entire Anne Frank’s house and even the location of Manny’s confession of the recurrence of his cancer has been changed from the lakeside to a graveyard.
Also, the gas station has been replaced with the theatre where Kizie finds out that Manny’s G-section tube has been infected, but in doing so the seriousness and the tragedy of the moment has not come very far. In all this, there has been an attempt to shorten the sufferings of Manny and a very apparent rush to the end.
One of the most overwhelming scenes of the entire book is the pre-funeral of Augustus which is packed with emotions, tears, fear of losing the ones you love, grief, helplessness and amazing dialogues. Though the setting and the portrayal of the scene remains the same in the movie there is a lack of intimacy and richness in the delivered discourse.
In a stark contrast to the book where the letter given by Van Houten to Hazel makes the ending a memorable one, here there is hardly any importance associated with it. In fact, the focus has been shifted from the letter to the screening of their Bhojpuri movie where everyone is seen to be cherishing the love they shared. Manny’s letter at the end of the movie does not do justice to Augustus’s letter which leaves the readers with an infuriating pain in their hearts.
“Janam kab lena hai aur marna kab hai, hum decide nahi kar sakte par jeena kaise hai wo hum decide kar sakte h.”
Apart from all this, the sole purpose of the movie which is to make us realize the preciousness of every moment we have, the blessings bestowed on us in the form of the ones we love and the unpredictability of life has been very well illustrated by the successful endeavours of Sushant Singh Rajput and Sanjana Sanghi.
Whether it is the cathartic experience of reading this book, the love for its dialogues, the pleasure of watching it’s Bollywood version or being flooded into tears after watching Boone’s direction of it, this love story will remain in our hearts till eternity.
P.S. Also read our article on 10 Feel Good Movies To Watch.