The debate between the book and film adaption has been for long. I would obviously lean toward book’s side. Books have fared way better in giving you a peek into the narrator's point of view and pulling into the world created by the merger of the writer’s depiction and reader’s perception. But not this time.
I just finished “The Fault in our Stars”, in an attempt to be all prepared for the final movie of Sushant Singh Rajput — Dil Bechara, which is based on an adaptation of this novel. I am all rooting for “Dil Bechara” to be better than the novel, which is pretty good. The title of the novel is a comment on a statement made by Cassius in Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar — “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars / But in ourselves, that we are underlings.” The narrator makes a point that sometime in this world, however, the fault is indeed in our stars. The key characters in the novel - Augustus lost his leg, Hazel had breathing issues due to cancer, and Isaac lost his eyesight with no fault of their own. Sometimes we have little control of our eventual fate.
I’m impressed with the pace at which I finished the book. It seems like I have seen so much in reading some three hundred-odd pages in a day. I cried multiple times especially reading through the last forty pages of the book, and I believe it is just a prelude to how I would handle the “Dil Bechara” movie. It would be tough to control emotions especially in the eulogy scene, where two main characters — Hazel and Isaac read the eulogy of the lead male character of the novel Augustus, which would be played by Sushant.
Somehow despite the constant focus on the inevitability of death, oblivion, and pain, the novel has a dose of humor. Hazel, the narrator of the novel offers an interesting perspective on the absurdity of Mashlaw’s Law of Hierarchy. A life dedicated to meeting the lowest hierarchical needs — safety and health, isn’t less human than life focussed on a higher level of needs.
The novel also makes you appreciate the small joys of life. Hazel, the narrator of the story, has a constant struggle with breathing. When she goes to pay homage to Augustus, she removes her breathing device to be consumed by his presence for one last time.
At the end of the book, what lingered was the magic of love. I absolutely loved how two troubled souls, tormented by faults in their stars finally found solace in their love. Everything about their love for each other is extraordinary. Breathlessness in their kiss. The limited-time they had. Hazel in the end also talks about how some infinities are greater than others. You can’t use algebra rules to compare the time you spend with someone you love. Even a year could be greater than decades of togetherness. In a way, the author makes a point that despite the fault in their stars, one could have an epic love story that could make up for everything!
Sushant would be wonderful in the role of Augustus who is innocent, charming, and funny, all at the same time. Now, I’m set for 24th July to watch “Dil Bechara”. All set to cry. All set say goodbye to Sushant Singh Rajput who still inspires me with what he achieved in life. All set to experience how despite fault in the star of this movie — no theatre release due to Covid, the online launch would be amazing!